Adele may have dominated the Grammy Awards with her staggering number of wins and her famously recovered voice, but it was singer Jennifer Hudson who held the audience in emotional thrall when she honored her idol, Whitney Houston, on Sunday night's stage with a rendition of "I Will Always Love You."

In 1992, Houston covered the song, which was written by Dolly Parton in 1973 as a tribute to her mentor, Porter Wagoner. Houston's version was released for her movie with Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard. Both renditions were chart-toppers in their respective times, with Houston's version occupying spot number 68 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time."

Hudson had less than 24 hours to prepare the performance after learning about Houston's recent death, and she was so overcome she broke down during rehearsal, according to The New York Daily News. Though clearly an emotional experience for the 30-year-old singer, Hudson kept it together during the actual Grammy performance of the song, and delivered a strong and respectable rendition of the classic number.

Though singing legend Chaka Khan was also scheduled to accompany Hudson in singing the tribute song, she dropped out last minute, tweeting her explanation. "As I grieve the loss of my friend and 'little sister,' I don't feel it appropriate to perform at this time. Continue to pray for the family."

Parton, too, released a statement on Saturday after receiving the news of Houston's untimely death. "Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston," she told Billboard. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, 'Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.'"

Watch the Grammy's tribute to Houston here:

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  • A Grinshpan
    A Grinshpan on

    So sad. I can't stand Jennifer Hudson, she isn't that good. Couldn't they have gotten someone better?

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