UPDATED: R.I.P. Whitney Houston: Jennifer Hudson To Perform Whitney Houston Tribute At The Grammys

Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, has died. She was 48.

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unclear.  At her peak in the 1980s and ’90s, Houston the golden girl of the music industry and one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Among her hits were “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love for You” and “I Will Always Love You.” She won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year.  Her success carried her beyond music to movies like “The Bodyguard.”  But by the end of her career, drug use took its toll as her record sales plummeted and her voice became raspy and hoarse.

Whitney Houston’s shocking death just 24 hours before the music industry’s biggest event, the annual Grammy Awards, sent CBS, the Recording Academy and the show’s  producers scrambling to put together a fitting tribute to one of the music industry’s biggest stars. Jennifer Hudson, who like Houston came from gospel roots to enjoy a flourishing career as both a singer and actress, will perform a Houston tribute at the Grammys tomorrow night, the show’s executive producer Ken Erlich just announced. It will no doubt be a memorable moment in Grammy Awards history, just like six-time Grammy winner Houston’s performance of One Moment In Time at the 1989 show. (Watch it below). And a very highly rated Grammy Awards for CBS. Erlich said that they were in the middle of rehearsal for tomorrow’s show when the news of Houston’s death broke. “As you know she was very closely associated with the Grammys both as a performer and as a Grammy winner, and a lot of us who worked on the show worked with her a number of times, so it’s a very sad day for us, and it’s going to be tough to recover from,” he said in an interview for the CBS affiliate stations. Shortly thereafter, Erlich called Hudson, who accepted his invitation to perform. “She’s a good friend of the Grammys,” Erlich said. “She’s had some very significant appearances on the show, it felt right to ask her to come and help us honor Whitney which she will do musically.”

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