Jennifer Hudson Performs Emotional Grammys Tribute to Whitney Houston

Sings 'I Will Always Love You' to honor the late icon

Jennifer Hudson pays tribute to Whitney Houston onstage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson, who broke down several times while rehearsing her last-minute tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the Grammy Awards, delivered an emotional rendition of "I Will Always Love You" on the broadcast. Given Houston's unexpected death Saturday at age 48, there was little time to prepare the segment, but the former American Idol contestant made the most of a difficult task, blinking away tears as she sang a solemn, unadorned tribute on the otherwise flashy show.

During the broadcast, word surfaced that a full coroner's report on Houston's death may not be completed for weeks. Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder and host LL Cool J were among the Grammy performers and presenters who acknowledged the loss of the soulful pop singer during the program.