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We Will Always Love Her: Honoring Whitney Houston

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(Patrick Demarchelier)

(Patrick Demarchelier)

Whitney Houston’s death on February 11th  at the age of 48 came as a shock to the music world. But in the months that followed fans, friends, family and fellow musicians were able to pay their respects to the diva.

Less than 24 hours after Whitney passed away, Jennifer Hudson was on stage singing “I Will Always Love You” to a teary-eyed crowd at the GRAMMYs.

In the documentary, A Death in the Family: The Show Must Go On, Hudson explained that she would do anything for Whitney, but wasn’t sure if she would be able to pull herself together to sing the classic song.

In footage from the rehearsal, Hudson did break down, but that night on stage at the GRAMMYs she honored Whitney with a pitch-perfect performance of The Bodyguard theme.

Whitney returned to the big screen for the first time since her 1996 starring role in The Preachers Wife this past August in Sparkle, which would be her final film role, playing mom to Jordin Sparks. In the video for “Celebration” from the movie’s soundtrack, Jordin and her cast mates celebrated Whitney’s life and work.

Jordin again took to the stage in tribute to her idol at the recent VH1 Divas Live to sing “I’m Every Woman” along with Melanie Fiona, who did a mash up of “I Want To Dance With Somebody” and “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” and Ledisi who took on “How Will I Know.” 

Moved by the loss of her friend, Mariah Carey wrote a song in Whitney’s honor called “Triumphant (Get Em)” about moving past the pain and gaining strength from it.

While Usher sang “I Believe in You And Me” from The Preacher’s Wife, Hudson performed an ’80s-inspired medley with classics like “I’m Every Woman,” “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” along with Celine Dion’s version of “Greatest Love of All” on the CBS special We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston, it was Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston’s tribute to her late daughter that had everyone reaching for the Kleenex.

The gospel singer took the stage at this year’s BET Awards to belt out “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” By the time she had finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A new greatest hits collection, I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston, released this year featuring “How Will I Know,” “I’m Every Woman” and her biggest hit,  “I Will Always Love You” will help fans celebrate her for years to come.

It also featured a previously unreleased song called ”Never Give Up,” which offered advice on combating adversity.

What’s your favorite Whitney Houston memory?

- Shannon Carlin, CBS Local

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