In the wake of the tragic death of music icon Whitney Houston, who passed away on Saturday, it’s likely that television will be looking to showcase the best of what she had to offer the entertainment industry over the course of her career. As I type this, VH1 is airing a marathon of Houston’s videos, which is a fitting way to honor her. Tomorrow night, Jennifer Hudson is expected to pay tribute to Houston at the Grammy’s. It also sounds like Glee is looking to honor the star, and that may come as early as Tuesday.
(Glee spoilers ahead!)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Houston song was already on the agenda for this Tuesday night’s episode, which will have Amber Riley’s character Mercedes singing “I Will Always Love You.” The song was originally sung by Dolly Parton, but is most associated with Houston, who covered the ballad for the Bodyguard soundtrack. In Glee, it will be tied to Mercedes' feelings for Sam and Shane.
While it’s arguably one of Houston’s best recordings, given how the musical dramedy handles tribute episodes, one song may not be enough to properly honor Houston. From what a rep from 20th Television (the studio behind Glee) told THR, they’re considering “going back into the episode to pay tribute to Houston.”
Considering that the episode airs this Tuesday night, time will obviously be a factor and additional songs may not be an option, but as THR suggests, a title card dedicating the episode to Houston might be an easy addition. That certainly would work, and perhaps at some point down the line the series might pay further tribute to Houston in a future episode, similarly to how they celebrated Michael Jackson's music just last month.
We’ll have to wait and see what they end up putting together. In the meantime, the thought of Riley performing “I Will Always Love You” already seems likely to be the highlight of the episode.
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.