The former American Idol winner confessed it was the first time she had ever performed “I Will Always Love You,” reports EURweb.
“It was one of those things where you look through Whitney’s songbook and say, ‘I’m going to leave ‘I Will Always Love You’ in a pretty wrapped box on a pedestal, and I’m going to go over here and sing ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody,’ cause nobody is going to get mad at me for that!'” Sparks says she was weak on stage. Her knees were shaking, her hands were clamming and heart was pounding in the moments before her performance. “I was sweating, dry throat, everything. Every nervous tick you could have, all at once. I don’t even remember what happened. I was up there, and then I was not! All of a sudden I was backstage again.”
Despite all of the nervous energy, Sparks came through like a winner, commanding a standing ovation from the audience. Sparks says she felt Houston’s presence on stage. “But it was one of those moments where I definitely felt her presence. She was all around that arena, and I just knew from spending time with her on set, she was like, ‘You got this. You go girl. You got this.'”
Relive the magic once more. See Jordin Spark’s hair-raising tribute below and check out ESSENCE.com’s exclusively first listen of the Sparkle soundtrack here.