2012 Grammys, Whitney Houston Tribute: The Prayer, Shout Outs, Tribute [Photos/ Videos]

Rucuss staffFebruary 13, 2012

As the host of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, LL Cool J kicked things off with a prayer in honor of pop icon Whitney Houston.

LL began the ceremony by addressing an issue that appeared to be playing heavily on many hearts in the audience. Whitney died in a hotel at the Beverly Hilton just one day before the live event at the Staples Center on Sunday.

“There’s no way around it,” he said. “We’ve had a death in our family. For me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman who we love, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston.”

It was a heartwarming moment in which attendees bowed their heads in homage to Houston and her undeniable contributions to pop music.

LL began: “Heavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us. Today our thoughts are with her mother, her daughter and all of her loved ones. And although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit, and to have the legacy of her music to cherish and share forever. Amen.”

While some thought the prayer was offensive, many applauded Cool J’s efforts. Watch the video below.

A snippet of Whitney performing ‘I Will Always Love You’ at the Grammys followed his prayer. LL then added, “This night is about healing” — through music.

During the course of the night, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Bruno Mars gave shout-outs to Whitney. Rihanna said, “Make some noise for Whitney,” Rihanna shouted to screaming fans who had packed the dance floor near the stage while she performed ‘We Found Love.’

Before Stevie Wonder presented Paul McCartney he said, “I just want to say to Whitney up in heaven, we all love you Whitney Houston.” And then he pulled out a harmonica and played for a few seconds.

Alicia Keys and Bonnie Rait paid tribute to the late Etta James with “A Sunday Kind of Love.” Before the start of the song, Keys announced, “We love Whitney Houston.”

Bruno Mars, during his performance, said he’s paying tribute to the “beautiful Whitney.”

Jennifer Hudson was tapped to pay tribue to Houston by singing a two-minute version of ‘I Will Always Love You.’ While some believe the tribute was too short, Jennifer managed to sing her rendition of the song out of the park.

The Grammys wanted to keep the tribute ‘eloquent and understated’ out of respect for Whitney. Jennifer did a good job under the circumstances. She reportedly broke down during rehearsal of the song. But as a entertainer she held it together as best as she could doing her performance.

Chaka Khan was suppose to join her on stage but she backed out at the last minute.

Watch Jennifer’s performance below.

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