updated 02/12/2012 AT 11:05 PM ET
•originally published 02/12/2012 AT 8:25 PM ET
It was a fitting way to honor the memory of Whitney Houston.
On a darkened stage – where Houston had performed on many times before – in front of an audience of artists who call her an unforgettable influence, on music’s biggest night, the late R&B superstar was remembered with one of her most memorable hits, sung by Jennifer Hudson.
Hudson’s poised, powerful and understated reading of the song brought audience members gathered at Los Angeles’s Staples Center for Sunday’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards to their feet Sunday night.
The performance came at the end of the show’s in-memoriam segment.