Jennifer Hudson was the perfect person to pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the 2012 Grammy Awards because she was familiar with the extreme grief of losing a close family member, according to event producer Ken Ehrlich.
The Dreamgirls star struck a chord with viewers as she belted out a pitch-perfect rendition of Houston's classic "I Will Always Love You" ballad at last year's prizegiving, which took place just one day after the legendary singer was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel suite.
Longtime Grammys producer Ehrlich admits Hudson's was the first name he thought of when he had to put together a last-minute tribute to the superstar on the eve of music's big night, thanks to her powerful performance of You Pulled Me Through at the 51st annual awards show in 2009, which took place just months after the tragic murders of her mum, brother and nephew in October, 2008.
However, he didn't immediately realize how fitting his choice was.
In new documentary "The Grammys Will Go On: A Death In The Family," which aired on Saturday night, he explains, "I can remember standing by the stairs by the stage, where Jennifer Hudson performed "You Pull Me Through" on the show, after all she had gone through (with) the death of her mother, her brother, her nephew...
"I know that later I connected those two things, and that was why I really decided to call Damien Smith, who is Jennifer's manager, and talk to him about having her do the tribute to Whitney."
Hudson had met her idol Houston just three years before as the icon presented her with the Grammy for Best R&B Album at the 2009 ceremony.
The Grammys Will Go On: A Death In The Family was broadcast on the eve of the 2013 event, which takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday.