Jennifer Hudson choked back tears as she rehearsed for the Super Bowl with the choir from the Connecticut school at the centre of December's massacre because she couldn't bear to imagine the horror they endured during the killing spree.
Hudson became emotional when she first met the kids from Sandy Hook Elementary ahead of last weekend's powerful performance and she says she struggled with the initial run-through of "America the Beautiful."
"They were so sweet... It was an emotional rollercoaster for me," Hudson says. "Like, I'm obviously excited to be part of such a huge, major event, but then to have to sing for something so emotional... and then to meet the kids...
"I went into the room to meet the children (for the first time) and we're supposed to rehearse the song and I can't even get through the song. They're looking up at me and to think that they were put in that position..."
Hudson performed the patriotic anthem with the school choir before the Super Bowl kick-off in New Orleans. Twenty young children and six adults were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Newtown school before turning his weapon on himself.