Vanessa Hudgens Delivers Stunning Performance in Grease: Live! Despite Her Father’s Recent Death

The internet is collectively praising Vanessa Hudgens for her incredible performance as Betty Rizzo in Fox’s Grease: Live production. That’s what happened several hours after the actress announced the death of her father, Greg Hudgens, due to cancer.

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Vanessa’s father died on January 30 this year, upon losing his battle against the disease. “I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer,” the 27-year old wrote. “Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.”

Still, “the show must go on” for the former High School Musical star.

Seemingly shedding off her brainy and goody-two-shoes character Gabriela Montez, Vanessa quickly transformed into the sexy Rizzo. This is a nice throwback to her early days in showbiz, wherein she was belting tunes with Zac Efron’s Troy Bolton. Now that she’s way past that stage in her career, Vanessa is free to play more challenging roles. And it looks like she still has a lot to offer in the musical comedy department.

Despite her father’s passing, Vanessa managed to take control of all her emotions like a pro, carefully channeling them in order to deliver a gut-wrenching rendition of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” This is when all the praise really started flowing.

Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted: “Imagine you had Vanessa Hudgens’ day, and doing that. What a superhero. In total awe.”

Stacy London shared the same sentiments: “AND to perform under those circumstances? I mean, props to that lovely lady. @VanessaHudgens #GreaseLive”

People really loved her performance in “There Are Worse Things I Could Do,” and Daniel Feinberg was one of them: “Impossible not to get extra emotional from Vanessa Hudgens on “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” Well done. #GreaseLive”

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Michael Ausiello, apparently having underestimated Hudgens before, tweeted this upon watching her live performance: “I will never underestimate Vanessa Hudgens again. #GreaseLive”

Andi Dorfman even developed a “new girl crush,” broadcasting it on Twitter: “New girl crush alert … @VanessaHudgens who is seriously crushing this #GreaseLive #TeamRiz”

And even before the show ended, we were all on Team Riz.

Vanessa was joined by a star-studded cast who all worked hard together to create a sure hit production – one that we will always credit as the best modern-day adaptation of the Broadway musical. The cast included Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Carly Rae Jepsen who played Sandy, Danny, and Frenchy, respectively.

In fact, the live musical spectacle was such a huge success that it took the top spot on the Worldwide trends!

Netizens were swooning over Tveit’s Danny, whose short shorts and gray tank top are sure to become fashion trends very soon. The whole affair was a fun, funky, and upbeat one, with all the members of the cast grooving and grinding ‘til the very last second. When it was almost over, we didn’t want it to end.

Fox also gave a fitting memorial to Vanessa’s father, posting: “In loving memory of Greg Hudgens June 22, 1950-January 30, 2016,” on the final cut.