Vanessa Hudgens stole the screen as Betty Rizzo in Fox’s production of Grease Live! However, while it was a major career moment for the former High School Musical star, it was also a bittersweet one.
Just one day before the live performance, Hudgens’ father passed away after a battle with cancer. Though it would have been perfectly understandable for Hudgens to sit out the performance, she decided that the show would go on, and told the Twittersphere that her performance would be in honor of her father. Now, Hudgens has once again gone to Twitter to thank her fans for their support during this trying time.
… me last night. Doing #greaselive was one of the most incredible experiences and I'm so glad you guys liked it as much as I did…
— Vanessa Hudgens (@VanessaHudgens) February 2, 2016
Grease Live! was widely praised by both fans and critics alike, and while all of the cast members killed it, it was Hudgens’ rendition of Rizzo’s infamous ballad “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” that really floored audiences. Hudgens’ song, which is basically Grease‘s answer to why slut-shaming is so not OK (because, uh, women are people who can make any decision that they want), has been viewed over 1 million times on YouTube since it was posted on Sunday. Clearly, Hudgens made people feel things with her performance, and considering her own personal struggle, that’s incredibly impressive.
While Hudgens has had an exciting career in the decade since High School Musical, her dedication to Grease Live! and her knockout performance shows that this is the area of the entertainment industry where she thrives. Hudgens used her talent to not only help herself cope with a serious loss, but gave the world something amazing back in the form of an incredible performance and one gorgeous solo.
Hudgens’ loss is a painful one, but it’s good to know that her art and the support of her fans can help her get through these trying times. She may be going through something challenging, but she hasn’t let that stop her from giving her work her all — something that her dad would likely be proud of.