Performing Houston's 1992 hit "I Will Always Love You" (from The Bodyguard soundtrack), Hudson, 30, fought back tears as her voice enveloped the Staples Center. "Whitney, we love you," Hudson said before exiting the stage to uproarious applause. "We love you."
Chaka Khan had previously been tapped to perform with Hudson, but backed out less than an hour before the show. "As I grieve the loss of my friend and 'little sister,' I don't feel it appropriate to perform at this time," the singer tweeted. "Continue to pray for the family."
Houston, a six-time Grammy Award winner, was found dead in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Saturday afternoon. She is survived by her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 18, and her mother, Cissy. The cause of Houston's death is not yet known.
Tell Us: Were you moved by Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney Houston?