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‘American Idol’s’ Jessica Sanchez Performs a Moving Cover of ‘I Will Always Love You’

Jessica Sanchez

Dolly Parton may have written and first recorded ‘I Will Always Love You,’ but Whitney Houston’s soaring voice made it forever hers. Because Houston sang the song so perfectly, it is one of the most intimidating vocals for any singer to attempt, particularly so soon after Houston’s death thrust the tune back into the spotlight.

American Idol contestant Jessica Sanchez was brave enough to take on the classic during the show’s Whitney Houston night earlier this week. Watch how the 16-year old did.

Sanchez didn’t need to wait until the judges spoke to know she was a success. If the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction wasn’t enough, the standing ovation she got from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would’ve told her everything she needed to know.

When Jackson did speak, he declared her ”legit’ and said the world “yo” even more than he usually does, suggesting he was really impressed.

Lopez, fighting back tears, said the performance rendered her “speechless” and Tyler commented that Sanchez had made “40 million people cry.” What do you think? Houston’s version is below for comparison’s sake.

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