The rendition was the performance that received the most applause all evening.
Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to the great singer by singing Greatest Love of All in the Beverly Hilton's grand ballroom just one week before the 11th anniversary of the singer's traumatic death. Houston, who passed away on February 11, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, was discovered in her hotel room after accidentally drowning in the bathtub.
Jennifer Hudson began the stirring cover of Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All in tribute to the late diva. The American Idol contestant entered the stage wearing a glittering silver dress and said, "We love you," before singing out the song to a standing ovation. The rendition, Rolling Stone reported, was the performance that received the most applause all evening.
There’s nothing like @CliveDavis Pre-Grammy Gala ! So good seeing so many friends, old and new. And it was my absolute honor and privilege to pay tribute to The Voice, the legendary Whitney Houston. She is always in my heart! #GRAMMYs— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) February 5, 2023
📷: Getty Images pic.twitter.com/yVgMDQ0IVl
Hudson's rendition as a tribute to the late star moved many. Even actor Kevin Costner made an appearance, along with a moving statement in remembrance of his The Bodyguard co-star.
"We were both struck by Whitney the first time we first met her," Costner said to Entertainment Weekly of himself and legendary record producer Clive Davis. "Whitney would be our common ground, and from that moment we all worked as one collective... so powerful that for one moment in time the entire world seemed focused on this one country song," he continued.
He added, "Whitney had become the most celebrated singer of her generation, but she was an untrained actress and it was unclear if this was something she should aspire to or even something that was good for her career. All three of us would take a huge leap."
.@IAMJHUD channels Whitney Houston at the Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala pic.twitter.com/hAlkLd5Oxs— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 5, 2023
Costner, who also served as producer on The Bodyguard, added that he felt like he had to make the movie. "Whitney saw it as a chance to reinvent herself. But for Clive it was a career move that had a 'recipe for disaster' written all over it. I needed Clive. I needed his trust and his blessing and I needed the one thing that he wasn't used to giving up: control."
Costner then got really overwhelmed with emotion, talking to Clive directly, saying, "Maybe this isn't the room for it, but I don't want to miss the moment. And it's, uh, from the heart. Neither one of us, in the end, could protect your beloved Whitney. But your fingerprints on her life are clean, my friend. You were a miracle in her life. Thank you for being her bodyguard, Clive.... Everyone in this business has a mom, but not everyone has a Clive."
Myles Frost praises Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston at last night's Clive Davis Pre-GRAMMY Gala: "I bow down." #Grammys https://t.co/OcVu0Ewuuv pic.twitter.com/X1MmPmLwhT— Variety (@Variety) February 5, 2023
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez