She did Whitney proud.

Besides perhaps Adele, Jennifer Hudson was the most anticipated performer at Sunday's Grammys -- even though she signed on to the awards show just one day ago.

PHOTOS: Whitney's life remembered

Hudson, 30, was tapped to memorialize the late Whitney Houston (found dead Saturday afternoon in her hotel room in Beverly Hills) in a truly daunting way -- by lending her voice to the biggest hit of Houston's legendary career, "I Will Always Love You."

PHOTOS: What all the stars wore at the 2012 Grammys

After the annual segment of the show dedicated to music greats who passed away in the past year -- including Amy Winehouse, Etta James and Clarence Clemons, among others -- Hudson cautiously ascended to stage center for the gut-wrenching goodbye allad.

PHOTOS: Stars we lost in 2011

Choking back tears, the Dreamgirls star offered a stripped-down, elegant version of the classic song (sung by Houston on The Bodyguard soundtrack and written by Dolly Parton) -- all the more impressive considering the nerve-wracking rehearsals began only Sunday morning.  A backstage source told Us Hudson began "sobbing hysterically" while practicing the song.

Tell Us: What did you think of Hudson's performance?

Get more Us! Follow us on Twitter, Friend us on Facebook, Subscribe to Us Weekly