For Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich, putting together the 54th Annual Grammy Awards was anything but a stroll down Abbey Road. There are always the usual last-minute restagings, rewrites and rehearsals – in this case, hi-octane logistics included Paul McCartney’s all-star finale, featuring guests such as Bruce Springsteen, Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl.
But this year, the biggest challenge came 24 hours prior to the show with the devastating news that music legend Whitney Houston had been found dead in her hotel room. The producers scrambled to make changes to the program, assembling a tribute to Houston that included host LL Cool J’s opening prayer and Jennifer Hudson’s emotional rendition of Houston’s signature ballad “I Will Always Love You.”
Last week, the Grammy Museum screened a documentary that shares the revealing story of how Ehrlich and the production team were able to pull off the second most viewed show in Grammy history – while mourning the death of one of their own. Were you one of the 39 million viewers who watched the Grammys this year? How do you feel about the way the show paid tribute to Houston?
Ken Ehrlich, Executive Producer of the Grammy Awards
The mini documentary “A Death in the Family: The Show Must Go On” can be seen at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, or viewed online here.