It's been nearly 11 years since the iconic singer died at the Beverly Hilton at the age of 48.
Jennifer Hudson delivered a moving tribute to the late Whitney Houston at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party on Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. Houston passed away in 2012 at 48, at the same hotel just a few hours before she was slated to attend Davis' annual event. The legendary record producer hosted the 2023 pre-Grammy Gala with the Recording Academy on Saturday night. At the iconic hotel's ballroom, Jennifer Hudson took the stage to honor Houston with a performance of "Greatest Love of All," reports EW.
According to Refinery29, the "Dreamgirls" star was inspired by Houston from a very young age. She even praised her hours before her tragic death, talking about the influence she had on her life. As a child, she sang imaginary duets with the singer as she watched her belt-out songs on screen. Her dreams came true when she ended up winning her first-ever Grammy, with Houston handing it over to her. "I admire her style, her look, and above all else, her voice and technique," Hudson said.
During the pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday night, Kevin Costner paid tribute to his "The Bodyguard" costar with a touching speech. "We were both struck by Whitney the first time we first met her," Costner said of himself and Clive Davis. "Whitney would be our common ground and from that moment, we all worked as one collective... so powerful that for one moment in time, the entire world seemed focused on this one country song," he continued, referencing the late singer's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which became the lead single for the 1992 film. "Whitney had become the most celebrated singer of her generation, but she was an untrained actress and it was unclear if this was something she should aspire to or even something that was good for her career. All three of us would take a huge leap."
"'I Will Always Love You' was number one before the movie ever came out and thanks to the musical guidance of David Foster and the voice that came out of that little body that night in the studio," Costner continued. "We have a performance of a lifetime. We're all chasing dreams here. We're all crossing paths and sometimes, we do them through fate and destiny."
At the end of his speech, he also spoke to Davis, directly saying, "Neither one of us, in the end, could protect your beloved Whitney," he said. "But your fingerprints on her life are clean, my friend. You were a miracle in her life." Costner added, "Thank you for being her bodyguard, Clive and for every person in this room who you have stood behind and stood for. Everyone in this business has a mom, but not everyone gets a Clive."
Kevin Costner Calls Clive Davis Whitney Houston's 'Bodyguard': 'You Were a Miracle in Her Life' https://t.co/83TpEGEPnN— People (@people) February 5, 2023
The 68-year-old actor also spoke to PEOPLE about his time working with Houston back in the early '90s, and the significance of the iconic song. "I don't think we'll ever forget when that little song came out, that she just blew up," he said. "She sang the first part of it a cappella and musically, the world was never the same. We have a moment of her in that movie we'll never ever forget that and I think that when movies are working at their best, that's what can happen," Costner continued. The song won a Grammy Award for record of the year in 1994 and best pop vocal performance, female. The soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" also won album of the year and the title of being the best-selling soundtrack album of all time.