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Houston’s Death Changes Grammy Plans as Music Industry Mourns

Singer Whitney Houston Dies At 48
Whitney Houston sings the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, on Jan. 27, 1991. Photographer: George Rose/Getty Images

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Whitney Houston will be remembered with a tribute at the annual Grammy Awards tonight as the music industry mourns the death of one of its biggest pop stars.

Jennifer Hudson will sing a selection of Houston’s songs, the Recording Academy, which produces the Los Angeles event, said yesterday on its website.

Houston won six Grammy awards and her death at 48 the day before the music industry’s biggest awards show triggered an outpouring of grief from fans and her peers. Grammy organizers altered the lineup to include the performance from Hudson at the event, which will be telecast on CBS at 8 p.m. New York time.

“Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend,” Mariah Carey said on her verified Twitter account. “She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.”

Houston died yesterday in Beverly Hills, California, according to a police statement. She was discovered unresponsive in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel at about 3:43 p.m. local time. Last night she was scheduled to attend the annual pre-Grammys party of her mentor, Arista Records founder Clive Davis. News of Houston’s death hours earlier dominated the event.

First Grammy

“I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years,” Davis said in a statement released to the New York Times. “Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn’t scheduled to perform.”

Houston’s first Grammy came in 1985 for her vocal performance of “Saving All My Love for You.” She won the same award in 1987 for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”

Her soundtrack for the movie “The Bodyguard” earned her album of the year in 1993, and two other Grammy awards: best female pop vocal performance and record of the year for “I Will Always Love You.”

She received a Grammy for best female R&B vocal performance for “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” in 1999.

“A light has been dimmed in our music community today,” said Neil Portnow, president and chief executive officer of The Recording Academy, in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice,”

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Palazzo in Los Angeles at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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