The performances at last night's Grammy Awards, like at most Grammy Awards, were a mixed bag. It's going to take years for anyone to figure out what the hell Nicki Minaj was up to with her "Roman" performance, and I'll have nightmares forever about a bad dye job giving me hair like Katy Perry's. But there were also highlights, like Bruno Mars's energetic performance and the slightly surreal sight of Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen and more rocking out with Paul McCartney to "Golden Slumbers."

And then there was Jennifer Hudson's performance of "I Will Always Love You," which stands completely on its own. The song was obviously added to the schedule at the last minute given Whitney Houston's sudden death on Saturday, but Hudson performed it note-for-note flawlessly, barely able to contain her emotion as she honored the death of a singer who she, like millions of other singers of her generation, looked up to as a legend. Check out Hudson's entire performance in the video below.



What's funny about Hudson is that, ever since winning her Oscar for Dreamgirls in 2007, she's remained very much in the public eye but not really a huge pop culture force, even though she's clearly got the kind of voice that can make anybody famous. I know she didn't sing this song at the Grammys for her own benefit at all, but I do wonder if such an emotional, perfect tribute to Whitney Houston might get Hudson back into the conversation again, because God knows she deserves it. The song doesn't try to eclipse Houston's original, but perfectly does the job of paying tribute to the woman who, all apologies to its original singer Dolly Parton, made the song iconic.
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