Monday 26 September 2016

'Tonight, I do the show in his honour' - Vanessa Hudgens' dad dies just hours before her Grease: Live performance

Published 01/02/2016 | 08:27

Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens

The Grease: Live TV event on Sunday night was dedicated to the show's star Vanessa Hudgens' father, who died from cancer on Saturday.

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The actress, who played bad girl Rizzo in the U.S. TV musical, confirmed the sad news on Twitter early Sunday, writing that her 65-year-old father Greg lost his battle with stage 4 cancer.

She wrote, "Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers. Tonight, I do the show in his honor."

And as the final credits rolled after the Grease: Live aired, one last title read, "In loving memory of Greg Hudgens. June 22, 1950 - January 30, 2016."

Viewers flooded to social media to praise Hudgens' strength as she took the stage, particularly following her emotional solo of the track There Are Worse Things I Could Do.

Actor/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda also applauded Hudgens for her decision to perform while grieving her father, tweeting, "Imagine you had Vanessa Hudgens' day, and doing that. What a superhero. In total awe."

The TV special, a revamp of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's 1978 movie musical, Grease, kicked off with extra props of umbrellas as rain put a slight damper on the live show, but the skies cleared by the end, as the cast moved from a sound stage to an outdoor set for the famous final carnival scene.

Grease: Live also starred Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Keke Palmer, Kether Donohue, Mario Lopez, Carlos PenaVega, and Carly Rae Jepsen.

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