Everyone Stopped Tweeting During Jennifer Hudson’s Whitney Houston Tribute

At the height of the live Grammys broadcast there were 10,901 tweets per second... except during Jennifer Hudson's performance.

By Jorge Rivas Feb 16, 2012

The Grammys live telecast on Sunday set Twitter records for the number of tweets the show–except during Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney Houston.

At the height of the live broadcast there were 10,901 tweets per second, according to Twitter, just a few thousand below the Super Bowl’s new record of 12,233 tweets per second during the big game.

But Hudson’s tribute was so moving that the tweets stopped immediately when she took the stage.

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"Once Jennifer hit the stage, all traffic came to a complete stop. People stopped talking and they listened," said Beverly Jackson, director of marketing and social media for the Recording Academy, at a Social Media Week panel Wednesday in New York. Talk around the tribute, she added, while diverse, was mostly positive, with 81% favorable sentiment. Social-marketing company Mass Relevance helped tally the numbers.

Following Ms. Hudson’s performance, engagement ramped back up and capped at 3.9 million explicit #Grammy mentions. The broadcast probably got a viewer boost because of Ms. Houston’s untimely death, but the night belonged to Adele, who dominated Grammy wins (six) and the conversation with 2.5 million mentions — 500% more than any other artist, said Ms. Jackson. (Rihanna, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj and Ms. Houston round out the top five.)