Chills, Sam Smith! The British singer performed a gorgeous rendition of Whitney Houston‘s 1985 smash hit, “How Will I Know,” in a video released by SiriusXM Radio last Friday, June 20.
The clip shows Smith, 22, accompanied by a pianist and guitarist, singing a more toned-down version of Houston’s upbeat, synthesizer-heavy single. Smith’s cover was recently played on an episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The singer included “How Will I Know” on his list of 10 great R&B songs compiled for Rolling Stone.
“A Whitney Houston song that makes me happy—it’s a feel-good song,” he said. “I love the juxtaposition of a melancholy lyric with an upbeat sound. People forget that’s how she rose to fame. The more mature Whitney, like ‘I Will Always Love You,’ came later.” (Following Houston’s tragic February 2012 death at age 48, her stunning a cappella, un-doctored recording of the hit—without any instrumentation—became a viral phenomenon as fans mourned the Grammy-winning legend.)
Smith’s tremendously buzzed-about debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was released June 17. The talent came out as gay while speaking with Fader magazine last month, and dedicated his LP to “a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back.” Learn more about Sam’s musical inspiration here.
Watch his angsty version of “How Will I Know” above.
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