08:24 AM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 02/13/2012 02:30PM
On a night intended to pay homage to the biggest names in music today, two of the Grammy Awards's biggest honorees were the megastars no longer in the room: Etta James and Whitney Houston.
After host LL Cool J opened Sunday's ceremony with a prayer for Houston, announcing "a death in our family," the audience rose in a standing ovation.
"When a truly great artist leaves us, their legacy lives on," Alicia Keys later told the stars gathered at Los Angeles's Staples Center, before joining Bonnie Raitt in a graceful cover of James's "A Sunday Kind of Love."
But the most moving tribute came from Jennifer Hudson, whose elegant but understated rendition of Houston's "I Will Always Love You" brought audience members to their feet once again.
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