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Kelly Clarkson, Pentatonix cover powerful Whitney Houston song at Billboard Music Awards

Clarkson has previously covered other Houston songs on her show.
2020 Billboard Music Awards - Show
Kelly Clarkson performs onstage at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards that aired on Oct. 14, 2020.Kevin Mazur/BBMA2020 / Getty Images for dcp
/ Source: TODAY

Kelly Clarkson has some serious pipes, and the "American Idol" winner-turned-talk show host proved it yet again on Wednesday night when she opened the 2020 Billboard Music Awards with a show-stopping performance of a Whitney Houston bop, "Higher Love."

She was joined by Pentatonix and well-known drummer Sheila E.

This is the third time Clarkson has hosted the Billboard Music Awards, but she's used to playing host, given her successful daytime talk show, "The Kelly Clarkson Show."

On her show, Clarkson has said she's a huge Whitney Houston fan. She has previously covered other Houston songs on her show, including "How Will I Know," "I'm Every Woman" and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)."

She's also said that covering Houston's songs can be daunting. "I know every Whitney Houston song," she told Rolling Stone in 2012. "I wanted to cover one of her songs at our shows as a tribute, but it’s hard to cover her!"

"Higher Love" was originally recorded by Steve Winwood in 1986, his first No. 1 song on Billboard Hot 100. Houston recorded the track in 1990 for her third album, "I'm Your Baby Tonight," but it ended up on the cutting room floor and only appearing as a bonus track to a Japanese version of that album. It was then saved by her estate in 2019 when it was reworked by DJ and producer Kygo.