Grammy Awards including 'respectful musical tribute' to the late Whitney Houston

A somber tribute to Whitney Houston was expected at the Grammy Awards as the pop star's unexpected death cast a shadow over Sunday's ceremony.

Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan will pay "respectful musical tribute" to Houston.

Her death was "too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time," Erhlich said according to the Los Angeles Times, "but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years."

Houston won six Grammy Awards over the course of her career, and performed live at the 1986 and 1987 ceremonies.

This year's ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will be hosted by LL Cool J.

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Kanye West leads this year's Grammy hopefuls with seven nominations, primarily in rap categories, as well as song of the year for "All of the Lights."

British singer Adele -- who will make her return to performing at Sunday night's ceremony after undergoing throat surgery in November -- also claimed a big share of the limelight, with six nominations in some of the most prestigious categories, including record, album and song of the year.

Her single "Rolling in the Deep" is up for record of the year honors, which recognizes performance and production, along with Bon Iver's "Holocene," Bruno Mars' "Grenade," "The Cave" from British folk rock band Mumford & Sons, and Katy Perry's "Firework."

Adele's "21" will compete with the Foo Fighters' "Wasting Light," Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," Mars' "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" and Rihanna's "Loud" for album of the year.

Best new artist nominees, along with folk band Bon Iver, include country trio The Band Perry, rappers J. Cole and Nicki Minaj, and DJ-dance music performer Skrillex.

A posthumous nomination went to Amy Winehouse, who died of alcohol poisoning in July, for her duet with Tony Bennett on "Body and Soul," in the pop duo or group performance category.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the surviving members of the Beach Boys, Perry, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Minaj and country singer Glen Campbell are among the performers scheduled for the 54th annual Grammy Awards ceremony.