To remember Houston on the sad anniversary of her passing, watch Jessica Sanchez sing Whitney's 1992 smash as part of a week-long tribute that also includes Melanie Fiona and Chrisette Michele.
Whitney 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. To honor Houston's amazing music during the week of this sad anniversary, Billboard.com asked Jessica Sanchez, Chrisette Michele and Melanie Fiona -- three younger vocalists who counted Whitney as a guiding musical force -- to pay tribute to the late, great star the most fitting way possible: by each singing one of her biggest hits. Today, watch Jessica Sanchez sing Houston's signature song, "I Will Always Love You."
"Everything that Whitney did, she really made her mark," says Sanchez, whose rise in the music world began with her runner-up finish on "American Idol" in 2012. "'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."
Seventeen-year-old Sanchez waxes rhapsodic about how important Whitney's music has been to her personally, but her sweet-voiced rendition of "I Will Always Love You" and her emotional finish speak even louder than her words.
Houston's "I Will Love You" was the centerpiece of soundtrack for the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," in which she also starred. 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," Sanchez says, "and that's why she was my biggest inspiration."