13/02/2012 00:37 GMT | Updated 13/04/2012 06:12 BST

Grammy Awards 2012: Jennifer Hudson Leads Tributes To 'Sister' Whitney Houston (VIDEO)

The main Grammys ceremony, which opened at LA's Staples Centre last night, was transformed into an emotion-fuelled memorial to soul diva Whitney Houston, whose body was found dead only 24 hours before.

The night opened with a prayer and standing ovation to the singer, who herself won a clutch of six prestigious Recording Academy gongs over a turbulent career marred by spells of drug addiction.

Host LL Cool J said: "There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family so at least for me, the only thing that seems right is to start with a prayer for our fallen sister Whitney Houston."

He declared the night one to "celebrate and remember," and played a clip of Houston performing I Will Always Love You from the 1994 Grammys.

Later in the show, actress and singer Jennifer Hudson performed an emotional tribute to Houston singing a rendition of the late star's biggest hit.

Tributes were also paid by the parents of Amy Winehouse, who were called on stage during the ceremony to accept a posthumous award for the late British singer, who died following a lengthy battle with drink and drugs last year at the age of 27.

Referencing the recently deceased Etta James, Mitch Winehouse said: "Long live Whitney Houston, long live Amy Winehouse, Long live Etta James. There's a beautiful girl band up in heaven."

SLIDESHOW: Some of the best bits of the 2012 Grammys in photos: