MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson takes the stage in "We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston." Five-time Grammy Award winner Celine Dion also pays tribute to the late superstar in the special airing Friday night at 10:00 p.m. on CBS.
The celebration of Whitney Houston is a touching tribute to the late singer, filled with musical performances by those who loved her, worked with her and wanted to honor her, including Academy Award winner Kevin Costner who starred with her in the movie "The Bodyguard."
"Well I saw her like every red blooded male would see her. I thought she was really pretty, she was very statuesque, and she put on a big white gown you know how she would look skinny little girl with a big engine and she was pretty and I probably said that three times she was pretty."
Costner said he knew she was perfect for the film.
"So I saw her like that and when I saw this movie Bodyguard I really felt like she was the one."
When Whitney Houston died in February at the age of 48, her family asked Costner to speak at her funeral.
"I wasn't even sure why Ii was there because there was a lot of people that she touched and their lives. there just seemed to be this extra voice going you know. The world has their view on who was close to her and I was her bodyguard in a movie. So there was this weird kind of drum beat for me to say something that I didn't feel exactly qualified to so I talked about what we had in common."
One of Miami's top music producer's, Rudy Perez, had written a song for Houston back in 2000 which she was going to record. He played it the night of her death which was the first time the song had been heard on TV.
"I talked to Whitney and she loved it and she was going to do it and then unfortunately bad things started to happen with her career," said Perez.
Those bad things eventually led to her premature death. After years of struggling with drugs, Whitney was trying to reignite her career but sadly, on that strange pre-Grammy night, Houston died of ingesting a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol.
For Costner, it's not her death he will remember but rather the life she had and the music she made.
"She's special in every sense of the world. She was a one of a kind and there will be others that come behind her and those that will come before her but they burn in a very special way and she was one of them."
"We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston" will include never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, along with artists sharing their memories of her. Additionally, the special will feature highlights of Houston's career, including great GRAMMY and other iconic performances. It airs Friday, Nov. 16th at 10:00 p.m. on CBS4.
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