Yesterday morning, just hours before she was scheduled to perform as Betty Rizzo in Fox’s Grease: Live production, Vanessa Hudgens revealed on Twitter that her father had passed away of cancer the previous night. “I’m so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer,” she wrote, adding, “Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.”
Vanessa vowed to go on with the show in the face of her loss, writing, “Tonight, I do the show in his honor.” And she didn’t just give an admirable performance under tragic circumstances — she was one of the highlights of the show. In particular, her moving performance of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” drew major praise on Twitter.
I love you @VanessaHudgens… That’s how that’s done. On ANY day. But to do that TODAY?! I. Am. In. Awe.
— Tracie Thoms (@traciethoms) February 1, 2016
— Debra Birnbaum (@debrabirnbaum) February 1, 2016
Imagine you had Vanessa Hudgens’ day, and doing that.
What a superhero.
In total awe.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) February 1, 2016
I can’t even fathom the courage, focus and professionalism it took for Vanessa to perform with that loss still so fresh, and to come out of it having given arguably the best solo performance of the entire night is just incredible. I have major respect for Vanessa, and my heart goes out to her at this undoubtedly difficult time.
If you missed last night’s live airing and want to watch the performance everyone was raving so much about, or if you saw it live and just want to experience it again, you can see it in the video below.