Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Stars pay tribute to Houston

Jennifer Hudson performs onstage at We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Jennifer Hudson embodied the look of one of her idols, Whitney Houston, during a tribute to the late singer put on by Grammy organisers.

Wearing a pompadour and glittery jacket reminiscent of Houston's stage costumes from the 1980s, Hudson belted out a medley of Houston's hits at the Nokia Theatre for We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston, which will air as a TV special in the US next month.

"She has been a huge part of my life musically," Hudson said. "She's just been like this outline, this blueprint for myself."

Britney Spears, LL Cool J, Halle Berry, Taraji P Henson, Usher, CeCe Winans and Yolanda Adams also participated in the musical tribute.

Spears said she's always been "a huge fan" of Houston's. "I think she's amazing," Spears said. "And I think that her voice is better than God. I just, I love her."

Houston died aged 48 on the night before the Grammy Awards in February from accidental drowning complicated by drug use and heart disease. LL Cool J honoured her at the awards ceremony in February but said that the singer's musical contributions merit more.

"The time that we spent remembering Whitney at the Grammys wasn't really enough for her career," he said. "Even though it was wonderful, and I got to say the prayer, and I got to address her death, her career was larger than just a few segments. You need a whole show to celebrate a career like Whitney Houston's."

The tribute is set to air in the US on November 13.

TD Jakes, a minister and producer of Houston's final film, Sparkle, said Houston's early death can serve as a sad cautionary tale.

"Our message and our heart's cry to young people is to really govern the choices that they make, and that those choices have consequences, long term consequences," he said. "It is not enough to be talented. We must also be wise."

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