Fans praise the singer for being an inspiration following the sad loss of her father

Vanessa Hudgens bravely performed in a live TV version of Grease last night – just hours after announcing the death of her father.

The 27-year-old star decided to go ahead with playing Rizzo in the Grease: Live event despite sadly losing her father Greg the night before following his battle with cancer.

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Vanessa told her Twitter fans yesterday morning: ‘I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer.

‘Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers.’

She then confirmed that she’d be dedicating her performance to him.

‘Tonight, I do the show in his honor,’ she wrote.

Vanessa had revealed last summer that her dad was unwell when she posted a photo of them together on Instagram with the caption: ‘My daddy and I

‘Please pray for his healing!!! The more prayers the better. ’

After revealing her devastating news, Vanessa was praised for her courage in deciding to perform on Grease: Live and many viewers were left stunned by her incredibly powerful performance.

The moment she sang Rizzo’s solo ballad There Are Worse Things I Could Do was particularly emotional and sparked a huge reaction from those watching.

‘Vanessa Hudgens singing “there are worse things I could do” gave me chills,’ one wrote on Twitter, whilst one added: ‘so much respect for Vanessa Hudgens, no one would’ve guessed she lost a parent a few hours before her performance tonight’

Another posted: ‘For @VanessaHudgens to perform like this just 24 hours after her dad’s death is jaw-dropping.’

A tribute to Greg was shown at the end of the show, which saw Vanessa star opposite Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit as Sandy and Danny.

Last year the High School Musical star – who is dating actor Austin Butler – movingly spoke out about how cancer had affected her family during an acceptance speech at the Industry Dance Awards in Los Angeles.

‘Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being,’ she explained as she got visibly choked up.

‘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.’

Our thoughts are with Vanessa at this difficult time.

Watch her powerful performance as Rizzo in Grease: Live below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKsXNyb44Jw

Anna Francis