February 13, 2012 10:03am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Glee' Producers Dedicate Episode to Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston will be on the minds of Glee fans during the Feb. 14 episode. Not only does the Valentine's-themed outing follow just three days after the singer's sudden death, it finds Amber Riley's Mercedes tackling the "I Will Always Love You."
Penned and originally performed by Dolly Parton, the song has been nearly inseparable from Houston since she sang it as the theme to The Bodyguard in 1992.
Immediately following the news of Houston's passing, a spokesman for 20th Television told The Hollywood Reporter that series producers were considering adding a last-minute tribute to the locked episode -- but it won't be a part of the narrative. The studio confirms that Houston will be honored with a card in the end credits.
"We chose to do the song and [Glee co-creator] Ryan Murphy chose to do the song to honor one of the great hits of all time," Glee music supervisor P.J. Bloom told THR on Sunday. "Obviously we could not predict the unfortunately circumstances that happened this weekend but at the same time instead of focusing on the dark stuff, it's nice to have an opportunity to hear her in this way and celebrate the magic that Whitney brought to this industry."
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As for a full tribute, like the kind the show recently gave Michael Jackson, it seems to be far too early to tell.
"If we don't celebrate her in one complete episode," Bloom noted, "I'm sure we'll continue to acknowledge her music in the show."
Reporting by Lesley Goldberg.