Ken Ehrlich, Randy Jackson, & Diane Warren React To Whitney Houston’s Untimely Death [AUDIO]
Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson and award winning songwriter Diane Warren all called into “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” to discuss why Jennifer Hudson was the choice for last night’s tribute and also to reflect on the memorable life of the late Whitney Houston.
Ken Ehrlich was in the midst of putting the Grammy show together when he got word of Whitney’s passing. Leaving him with less than 24 hours until showtime Ken knew he had to act fast and he wanted Jennifer Hudson for the job.
“I was standing on the same stage where Jennifer had sung ‘You Brought Me Through’ 3 or 4 years ago, after what she had gone through. I knew that what I really wanted to do was ‘I Will Always Love You,’ but I didn’t want it to be bombast. I didn’t want it to be Whitney’s version. I wanted Jennifer to stay within herself, I didn’t want her to do this for the audience. I wanted her to do it for Whitney,” he explains.
Randy Jackson who worked on Whitney’s first two albums, tells us he was devastated when he got the news. “I happened to call a publicist of mine, who also has been working with Whitney about something else…and that is how I found out. It was heartbreaking, I just couldn’t believe it,” he says. “This girl was so full of life, such a cool girl, such an amazing natural God-given voice and gave so much to the modern era of singing. She was the Aretha [Franklin] of her time.”
Diane Warren, who worked with Whitney on seven songs was deeply saddened by her passing. “Whitney is the best. You wouldn’t have Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Celine [Dion] without Whitney. She had the chops to hit those notes that just got you in your gut and she had the soul. She had everything,” she says. “At her peak, she was unarguably the greatest female singer of the last 40 years. You can’t deny that.”