Grammy Awards struggle with honoring Whitney Houston
Monday, 13 February 2012 14:38
LOS ANGELES (AP) â€” The Grammys got underway Sunday as The Recording Academy grappled with the task of paying tribute to one of their fallen greats, Whitney Houston, while at the same time honoring the best in music, from the irreverent to the poignant.
It was a delicate balance. The show started off with Bruce Springsteen, complete with a string section, performing his new song â€œWe Take Care of Our Own,â€ a rousing song that references the troubles of the nation.
But soon after, a somber LL Cool J, the showâ€™s host, appeared in black, and told the audience: â€œThere is no way around this. Weâ€™ve had a death in our family.â€
He then led the audience in prayer to â€œour fallen sister, Whitney Houston.
â€œHeavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us,â€ he said, as celebrities like Lady Gaga and Miranda Lambert bowed their heads in prayer.
â€œThough she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit.â€
He introduced a clip of a glowing Houston singing one of her best-known songs, â€œI Will Always Love You.â€ LL Cool said afterward: â€œWhitney, we will always love you.â€
In his performance of â€œRunaway Baby,â€ Bruno Mars also mentioned the death:
â€œTonight weâ€™re celebrating. Tonight weâ€™re celebrating the beautiful Miss Whitney Houston.â€
A tribute to Houston featuring Jennifer Hudson was to take place during the main ceremony.
Houston died on the eve of the Grammys at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party. Before the death of one of pop musicâ€™s most important figures, the pre-Grammy buzz focused on whether Adele â€” 2011â€™s top-selling artist and set to make her first public performance on the show since having vocal cord surgery â€” would be the queen of the Grammys. Although Kanye West led all nominees with seven and Bruno Mars and the Foo Fighters tied Adele with six nominations, she was favored to sweep all of her categories.
Still, while Houstonâ€™s death cast a shadow over the nightâ€™s winners, it did not obscure them. The Foo Fighters emerged as big winners, capturing five of the six categories they were nominated in, and they still had a chance to win the eveningâ€™s top award, album of the year.