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Grammys 2012: Whitney Houston tribute to be sung by Jennifer Hudson

February 11, 2012 |  8:45 pm

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston, who found fame as one of pop’s biggest voices, has died. She was 48.

Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich and his team were scrambling Saturday night to find a poignant and proper way to mark the passing of Whitney Houston and their plan was to have Jennifer Hudson perform a "respectful musical tribute" on the CBS broadcast on Sunday night.

"It's too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years," said Ehrlich, a key figure in the Grammys since the early 1980s.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

Ehrlich said it was difficult for him to watch the decline of Houston through the years as addiction and chaos took away too much of her golden success story and her singular voice.

"It's hard to think of an artist who had such an incredible instrument, not to mention beauty, which made her difficulties in recent years even harder to accept," Ehrlich said.

Ehrlich recalled one shaky night in New York when word of Houston's behavior leading up to the award show spurred him to visit her dressing room at Madison Square Garden to gauge her ability to perform -- he marveled to find that she had already pulled herself together.

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston dead at 48

A fonder memory was, in the 1980s, watching Grammy director Walter Miller show the young singer how to walk down a set of "TV stairs" -- they were the first ones she had ever navigated.

"She was like a young filly about to head out on the track for her first race, a race you knew she was not only going to win, but would set any number of records," Ehrlich said.

[For the record, 8:38 a.m. Feb. 12: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich as Erhlich.]

RELATED:

Obituary: Troubled pop titan dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

VIDEO: Six legendary Houston performances

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Whitney Houston had large entourage with her

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

'The Bodyguard' and beyond; Houston's career in film

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

Determining how Whitney Houston died expected to take time

-- Geoff Boucher

Photo: Whitney Houston performs at the Anaheim Arena. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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