Whitney Houston may be gone, but her musical legacy grows stronger as those who loved her — both as an artist and a person — honor her memory. The day following Jennifer Hudson’s moving performance of “I Will Always Love You” at the Grammy Awards, Aretha Franklin paid tribute to her goddaughter by performing a sweet, soulful rendition of “I Will Always Love You” while appearing at a private concert in North Carolina. And country singer LeAnn Rimes covered Whitney’s ballad — all the while fighting back tears — during a performance in Reno. Watch both tributes below.
Before going on stage last Saturday night — hours after news broke of Houston’s death — LeAnn sent out a series of emotional tweets. “I can’t stop crying,” LeAnn wrote. “I have a show to do soon. Wow, I learned how to do what I do because of 3 great women, one being Whitney. She was always so kind to me. This is not gonna be an easy show for sure. I’m doing what she taught me to do by listening to her records over & over as a little girl. Her death is very surreal.”
“I lost it just talking about her and the impact she had on my life before I even began to sing. It made it almost impossible. The tribute to her came from my heart, which was truly broken like the rest if the world,” Rimes told E! News about her tearful performance.
Aretha Franklin performed Whitney’s iconic single from The Bodyguard soundtrack at the McGlohon Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday night. “I would like you to share this moment with me in acknowledging one of the greatest singers,” Franklin said before the applauding crowd.