LAS VEGAS — This year’s Billboard Music Awards definitely packed a punch with explosive live performances. From Justin Bieber’s swaggie “Boyfriend” to Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop confection “Call Me Maybe” and Carrie Underwood’s appropriately wind-heavy production of new single “Blown Away,” the lucky audience members were treated to an evening of unforgettable showstoppers.
In the midst of the upbeat displays, however, there were also two poignant performances in honor of music legends Whitney Houston and Donna Summer , performed by Jordin Sparks and John Legend and Natasha Bedingfield, respectively.
When MTV News caught up with Sparks on the white carpet ahead of her portion of the tribute, the “American Idol” champ revealed that she had put her heart and soul into preparing her rendition of Houston’s iconic version of “I Will Always Love You.”
“I put myself completely, 100 percent onstage every time I perform,” Sparks said of giving “everything” for her Houston tribute. “It’s just very special. I feel very honored to be able to honor Whitney in this way and to sing one of her songs. I’ve actually never performed this song before ever. It’s one of the songs I’ve always been like, ’Leave that alone,’ so it’s nerve-racking for me,” she admitted. “It’s a lot of pressure I’m putting on myself, because I want to do it amazingly, but at the same time, whatever happens, I just want to be able to speak through the music.”
Sparks worked with and got to know Houston while filming the movie “Sparkle,” which arrives in theaters this fall and is Houston’s final appearance onscreen. Sparks was scheduled to attend Clive Davis’ Grammy party with Houston on the night she died, and the “Idol” winner was in total “shock” upon hearing the tragic news.
What did you think of Sparks’ tribute to Houston? Let us know in the comments.