Jessie J Says She Almost Sang at Whitney Houston's Funeral, Covers 'I Have Nothing'

by Jackie Willis 7:41 AM PST, February 19, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

If you're going to cover Whitney Houston, you better do it right.

Singer/songwriter Jessie J did just that when she decided to perform the late music legend's hit ballad "I Have Nothing" as part of a recent Whitney Houston tribute -- but that's not her only connection to the icon.

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"Ten years ago this year is the anniversary of the day that I auditioned for the girl band that got me my record deal, that got me the record deal where I am now," Jessie J -- who was once a member of the girl group Soul Deep -- recalled to Billboard. "'I Have Nothing' was my audition song. And Whitney Houston, she's my musical inspiration."

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"All the songs, she gave so much confidence with them by being loud and having a big mouth and all the things I can relate to," the 26-year-old "Bang Bang" singer said. "I felt like it was okay to be like that. The way she danced, she was a bit uncomfortable and I'm not a dancer but I'll give it my best."

She added of her music idol, "[Whitney] wasn't perfect in performances but she just drew you in. I was like, 'That's how I wanna be.'"

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Jessie J reveals that she was to perform at Clive Davis' pre-GRAMMYs party the night Whitney died in 2012. She recalled that the music legend's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, came up to her during rehearsal and said that her mother wanted to meet her. The pop star later learned as she was getting ready for the party that Whitney had passed away in her hotel room.

"I ended up almost singing at her funeral," Jessie J confided. "It's weird because there's been so many moments in my life that, without her realizing it, she's helped me put myself where I am today."