This past weekend was shaping up to be a big one for Vanessa Hudgens. The High School Musical alumna was set to star as Rizzo, the sarcastic tough girl and leader of the Pink Ladies, in Sunday's broadcast of Grease: Live!
The show was going to be one for the ages, as musicals have been taking TV by storm over the past few years, and Grease is a fan favorite.
But tragedy struck the day prior. Vanessa tweeted that her father, Greg, had died of cancer on Saturday. He was 65 years old.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the star revealed her father was suffering from Stage 4 cancer in August 2015. The news was particularly tough because her boyfriend, The Shannara Chronicles' Austin Butler, lost his mother to cancer in September 2014.
"Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being," she was reported as saying during the Industry Dance Awards, according to Yahoo! Celebrity, where she received an award. "This award, it means a lot to me, but I dedicate it to my boyfriend's mom, Lori, my dad, and to all the families out there who are struggling with this, because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this."
Staying true to that spirit and her message, Vanessa decided to stay strong through her family's tough time and declared that she would perform in Grease: Live!... and that the performance would be dedicated to her dad.
And wow — she delivered beyond expectations. Check out her lighthearted performance of "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee"...
... and her tear-jerking rendition of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do."
Like a true professional, Vanessa didn't miss a beat during her performance, nailing her portrayal of Sandy's frenemy. TheWrap praised the starlet, calling her brave for following the old adage "the show must go on," while Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda added his touching perspective.
We couldn't agree more.
(H/T: Us Weekly)
Cover image: Press Line Photos / Shutterstock.