UPDATED: Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich announced that Jennifer Hudson will perform a Whitney Houston tribute at the Grammys Sunday.
Within hours of the announcement of Houston’s death, talks were underway to honor the singer during the show that airs live from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. It will air on CBS.
“We are all pretty devastated, it hit us pretty hard,” Ehrlich said in a statement released by CBS. “We were in the middle of our rehearsal and the news started going around. 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 it’s going to be tough to recover from. But we go on with the show.”
Some of Grammys’ most memorable moments over the years have involved numbers that were planned at the 11th hour. In 1998, Aretha Franklin took the stage to perform the aria “Nessun Dorma” to cover for the ailing Luciano Pavarotti. She was asked on the night of the show and no one knew what to expect.
Her performance was met with thunderous applause.
WHITNEY HOUSTON DIES: EW.com’s full coverage