Jennifer Hudson Pays Tribute to Whitney Houston at Grammys: Watch

Grammys 2012: Photos From The Show and Backstage

Singing "I Will Always Love You," Jennifer Hudson presented a touching tribute to Whitney Houston at the 2012 Grammys, just one day after Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"For me, the only thing that feels right begins with a prayer -- for a woman who we loved. For our fallen sister, Whitney Houston," LL Cool J said of the late legend. The host opened the 54th Annual Grammy Awards with a prayer for Houston.

Moments after news broke of Houston's death Saturday (Feb. 11), the Recording Academy put together a classic tribute to the legend, last minute.

Jennifer Hudson, who looked at Whitney Houston as a mentor belted the late singer's hit, "I Will Always Love You," with such passion. Hudson emphasized on Houston's vocal depth by staying true to her own, owning the classic from the start.

Recording Academy president Neil Portnow promised tonight's show would be "something respectful" and warned viewers that it the tribute wouldn't be a "full-blown tribute, that's too early and its' too fresh at this moment."

Early in the show, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt joined forces to pay tribute to another legend, Etta James.

Etta James, Soul Icon, Dies at 73

Both singers nailed Etta's soulful hit, "A Sunday Kind of Love." James would be proud of how Keys and Raitt's voices blended beautifully in her respect.