LL Cool J: Jennifer Hudson Is the 'Closest Thing We Have Now' to Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston Dies - 2012 Grammy Awards to Honor Singer
From left: Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston and LL Cool J
WireImage; IPHOTO, INF

02/12/2012 AT 06:50 PM EST

Grammy Awards host LL Cool J spoke on the red carpet Sunday about how he and producers of the show will honor the legacy of Whitney Houston on music's biggest night.

The rapper-actor, who is the first host at the Grammys in seven years, said that since learning about Houston's death on Saturday, the focus has been on "how we can be respectful and show her the love and appreciation she deserves and that her life warrants and merits."

That will include a performance by Jennifer Hudson, who is expected to sing Houston's mega-hit "I Will Always Love You."

"She's the closest thing we have now to what Whitney was," LL said of Hudson.
Alison Schwartz

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