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Jennifer Hudson deserves all the praise the music industry can muster today as she prepares to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, the R&B superstar who was found dead in her hotel room on Saturday afternoon, hours before she was due to make an appearance at the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala.
PHOTOS: Iconic Singer Whitney Houston’s Life and Career in Pictures
Not surprisingly, Hudson is said to be “having a hard time” at rehearsal for the tribute number, which will air three-quarters of the way through the broadcast, as part of a broader “In Memoriam” segment. She is singing Houston’s monster hit “I Will Always Love You.”
VIDEO: From ‘American Idol’ to ‘X Factor’: 5 of the Best Whitney Houston Reality TV Competition Covers
A Grammy crew member tells The Hollywood Reporter that Hudson was “crying and had to keep pausing” to collect herself during the Sunday afternoon rehearsal (the show kicks off at 5 p.m. PST). “She was having a hard time getting through the song, especially on the second run-through.”
Chaka Khan has also been added to the tribute number with possibly more surprise guests to be announced.
STORY: Simon Cowell Confirms He Was Considering Whitney Houston as ‘X Factor’ Judge
While competing on season 3 of American Idol, Hudson sang Houston’s “I Have Nothing” one week before being eliminated.
Check back here all day for Grammy updates…
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