Sanchez Performs “I Will Always Love You” for Billboard’s Whitney Tribute

She performed two Whitney Houston songs during her American Idol run… And, now Jessica Sanchez is honoring the late Grammy-winning singer’s memory with another cover.

The 17-year-old half-Mexican American singer performed Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as part of Billboard’s weeklong tribute. Houston, who passed away a year ago this week, not only found legions of fans with her incomparable voice, she was also the galvanizing inspiration for generations of singers like Sanchez.

Jessica Sanchez

“Everything that Whitney did, she really made her mark,” says Sanchez, who performed “I Will Always Love You” to acclaim from the judges during her run on Idol last year. “The Bodyguard, I love that movie and the reason I sang, ‘I Will Always Love You’ today is that is one of my favorite songs from her. It was just such an amazing record and it really touched everybody. I don’t think anybody could ever sing it like her.”

Sanchez, who will make her acting debut on Glee later this year, may talk about about how Houston’s music has impacted her personally, but her sweet-voiced cover of the 1992 instaclassic and her emotional finish say more than words can.

Houston’s “I Will Love You” was the centerpiece of soundtrack for her 1992 film The Bodyguard. Houston took the bittersweet Dolly Parton-penned ballad all the way to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks.

“Her technique and her voice is completely different from anybody else, and that’s why she is Whitney Houston. That’s why she’s a legend,” says Sanchez, “and that’s why she was my biggest inspiration.”

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