Bruce Springsteen
The Boss takes on the Military Wives in UK album chart battle. REUTERS

The 2012 Grammy Awards night saw veteran American rocker Bruce Springsteen take to the stage in his characteristic style... and with his trademark opening phrase - "America, are you alive out there?" - a lyric from his song "Radio Nowhere".

Unfortunately for the 62-year-old star, nicknamed "The Boss", the recent death of fellow American music legend Whitney Houston meant that his words were perhaps not the most appropriate.

However, his first song for the evening, "We Take Care of Our Own" repaired the damage. Springsteen's performance was followed by a moment of silence... a memorial... to Whitney, lead by the host for the evening, rapper LL Cool J.

Whitney Houston died under mysterious circumstances, a day before the Grammys.

In response to that tragic event, LL Cool J announced "tonight we celebrate music, and we celebrate Whitney."

"We've had a death in the family," said LL Cool J, as he started the show with a prayer for Whitney and a clip of the music legend singing "I Will Always Love You" from the 36th Grammy Awards.