Grammys take on somber mood in light of Houston's death
February 12th, 2012
07:36 PM ET

Grammys take on somber mood in light of Houston's death

As the Recording Academy gets ready for the 54th Grammy Awards to kick off at 8 p.m., a more somber mood lingers on the red carpet.

Among the many notable names that the music industry has lost in the past year, Whitney Houston is the latest to join the list. Executive producer Ken Ehrlich said Saturday that they were retooling the show to include a respectful tribute to the legendary entertainer, with aid from Jennifer Hudson.

On Sunday's red carpet, everyone acknowledged that this is a night to honor the best in the industry, especially those who are no longer with us.

"No one is like [Whitney Houston]," said Brit artist Jessie J, who sung at Davis' pre-Grammy gala. "It was a united sound. Everyone knows Whitney Houston, and everyone still will. I don’t think that without her, I would be here. She gave me the strength to believe that it was OK to [sing] loud and powerful. She made me believe that I could do it on my own."

Saturday night's performance was "overwhelming," Jessie J admitted, but said, "I had to keep it together and sing for Whitney. This trip was all about that. I had a wish list when I was 17, and on that was for Whitney to hear me sing live. I don’t think [the news of her death] has sunk in yet, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to sing for her...I feel for her daughter [Bobbi Kristina], and my love is with her."

Billy Ray Cyrus was also heartbroken as he walked the red carpet, telling CNN, "I come here with a heavy heart, I lost a friend, and I was impacted a great deal by her music and her life, as both a singer and an actress."

The past couple of years especially "have been tough" for music, Cyrus said. "We lost a couple of the greats. Etta James was a great friend of mine, and [my daughter] Miley and I used to drive in often to the tapings of 'Hannah Montana' listening to the recordings of Etta James…[and] I’m still mourning over the fact of losing Michael Jackson. And then to be here tonight with the loss of Whitney Houston, you’re never prepared to lose someone that young, that talented, that much of a light in the world. Her music and her legacy and her talent will live on. That’s the good news."

There's the sense, said Damian Kulash of OK Go, that when you hear a voice that great, you think it'll never go away. "We’re the generation that grew up with her on the radio 24/7," he said of his band, "[and] she was the soundtrack to our youth. We sort of figured that a voice like that will be around forever."

The news was still sinking in for Ice T as well. "We look at our celebrities day in and day out, and you know that they go through trouble, but you don’t think that they can die," he told CNN.

Best new artist Grammy nominee J. Cole said he never got the chance to meet Houston, but noted, "The whole world loves Whitney. That voice is incredible, even through all her problems, we still root for her, we still love her."

Bonnie Raitt, who is performing with Alicia Keys in a tribute to Etta James tonight, told CNN that she and Keys will perform "Sunday Kind of Love."

"[James] was a friend of mine so I was already emotional to be playing tribute to her," Raitt said. "No one could have known that Whitney was going to be part of this tribute too. They rewrote the beginning of the show. It’ll be a celebration of their lives, but everyone’s been altered."


Filed under: Awards Season • Grammys

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. p.k.-ASTONISHED ONE!

    YOU SAID IT&WE CAN ONLY HOPE THESE SUB-HUMANS DONT FORGET IT!TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN...UNLESS YOU OUNT THIS ONE? OPINIONS ARE LIKE A__HOLES EVERYBODY HAS ONE! ITS REALLY TO BAD THAT SOME HAVE THE FILTHY MOUTH TO MATCH UGH? HATE SO DEEPLY FOR THOSE WHO HAD COURAGE TO EXPLORE LIFES OPPORTUNITIES&OVERCOME ALL OF LIFES A__KICKING,HATERS,UNBELIEVERS ..IF ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME! THEY CHOSE TO WALK A PATH THAT TRUELY BRIGHTENS MILLIONS OF PEOPLES SMILES,SPIRITS,HEARTS&SOULS WORLD WIDE! THEY SUCCEDED AFTER GIVING IT THEIR ALL! SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THESE RIDICULOUS IDIOTS WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR DECADES AFTER THEIR EXIT? FOR THAT REASON THEY DESERVE RESPECT,COMPASSION,&OUR EVERLASTING GREATFULLNESS !THESE ICONS ARE LEGENDARY CAUSE THEY FOLLOWED THEIR HEARTS BY SHARING THEIR GOD GIVEN TALENTS W/US! THEY UNFORTUNATELY MET MUCH SORROW&PAIN ON THEIR JOURNEYS!THEY WEREN'T PERFECT ..NONE OF US ARE&QUITE FRANKLY THESE IMBUSULS ARE FAR FROM IT! THEY NEVER GAVE UP TIL THE END!

    February 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Adele

    I'm still waiting 4 her dealer to show. wht up ? he no showing

    February 13, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Colorado Keith

    Yeah. Dont be a picking on her. She was a good Mitt Romney supporter.

    February 13, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. TennMark

    TO ALL THE IDIOTS WHO POSTED THOSE VERY HURTFUL AND INSENSITIVE REMARKS REMEMBER THIS.........IT IS BETTER TO REMAIN QUIET AND LET PEOPLE THINK YOUR A FOOL THAN TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND LEAVE THEM NO DOUBT.

    February 13, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. adele

    Im still waiting 4 my whitney's crack dealer to show up. me need crack to lose the weight

    February 13, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. selena gregory

    I get my crack real cheap...because my mother turns tricks for crack rocks on the street corner next to the motel we live in.

    February 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. selena gregory

    All you sick mother f$#@ making those comments need to go to hell

    February 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Whitney's Crack Dealer

    I'll miss Whitney too...because now I'm broke.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Destanee

    I'll miss Whitney she has a strong voice that touches your heart every step of the way

    February 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Destanee

    I'll miss Whitney she has a strong voice that touches your heart

    February 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jean

    To lighten the mood at tonights Grammy's, the audience has been given Whitney Houston memorial crack pipes pre-loaded by her crack dealer.
    True story.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. map rap3er aka ?

    Ur still a f ag

    February 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |

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