updated 02/12/2012 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/12/2012 AT 6:50 PM ET
The rapper-actor, who is the first host at the Grammys in seven years, said that since learning about Houston’s death on Saturday, the focus has been on “how we can be respectful and show her the love and appreciation she deserves and that her life warrants and merits.”
“She’s the closest thing we have now to what Whitney was,” LL said of Hudson.
– Alison Schwartz