LL Cool J opened up the 54th Annual Grammy Awards with a poignant speech that included sentiments about the death of Whitney Houston. Looking dapper in a black tuxedo and matching hat, he shared memorable words with the entertainers in attendance.

"We ask ourself, 'How do we speak to this time, to this day?" he said. "There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family. At least to me, the only thing that seems right is to start with a prayer for our fallen sister Whitney Houston."

After he expressed the inevitable, the Queens native went into prayer. "Heavenly father, we thank you for sharing Whitney Houston with us," he said. "We remain truly blessed to have been touched by her spirit ... Amen."