On Saturday night the producers for the Grammy’s probably were getting ready for rehearsals the next day and tying up any loose ends before music’s biggest night. Then the bad news arrives that Whitney Houston tragically has died. Talk about a huge monkey wrench getting thrown into the gears of a show that’s been in planning for months. The voice of the generation was gone way too soon and it happened the night before the Grammy’s… a place where Whitney once ruled. The night was going to be all about Adele, which it was. She swept all six categories she was up for and returned to the stage to let everyone know the voice is back. That might be the story for the awards but the night will always be remembered for Whitney Houston’s passing and the behind the scenes crew that pulled off the big show that was rewritten the night before the awards.
Think about the gorilla in room the producers had to deal with. If you make the show all about Whitney you are ignoring all the great work from this past year but if you don’t acknowledge it you are not honoring the past. That’s why I commend the Grammy’s producers for going ahead as schedule and letting the boss open the show. I thought for sure when I flipped it to The Grammy’s that the show would open with Jennifer Hudson standing on stage belting out Whitney songs but instead we got some old folks from Jersey… and that’s fine with me. Whether it was by logistics of the show or a producers call if Bruce was to have the honor of opening the show then it should have stayed with him. Not to sound to out of line but what happened to Whitney Houston was caused by Whitney Houston’s actions. This wasn’t a murder, an accident, or natural causes so to boot Bruce from the open would have been out of line in my eyes.
Luckily for producers and the audience there was an ace in the hole who set the tone for the night. James Todd Smith otherwise known as LL Cool J. LL is from Whitney’s generation of musicians and came out and addressed the situation in a very honest way. He let the audience know we have lost an important figure in music history but this is a night to celebrate so lets bow our heads and then start the party. LL you earned major props in my book for how you handled a tough situation. Imagine if some comedian would have come out and tried to convey the loss to music fans. It would have been so awkward. Everyone may remember Jennifer Hudson’s performance as ‘the moment of the night’ but the real MVP’s were LL and the behind the scenes crew of producers, writers, grips, and others who managed to pull a new show together the night before the show because of tragic circumstances. Hat’s off to them.