We've said it before and we'll say it again. "Glee's" Amber Riley has more star potential than almost all of the young singers in the game today. Backing up this statement in what many have called a strange twist of fate, Riley's character Mercedes performed Whitney Houston's classic hit "I Will Always Love You" in last night's Valentine's Day episode. Although it was filmed several days before Houston's passing, the impassioned fire and nuanced force with which Riley delivers this timeless track allows the performance to hold it's own beside Jennifer Hudson's last-minute Grammys tribute.
Riley revealed on Twitter that this cover had actually been a long time coming on the popular FOX series: “I Will Always Love You” was a song I didn’t even want to touch. They ['Glee' producers] have been asking me to sing it since Season One. It was vocally challenging of course but that song is just sacred to me. Whitney Houston was one of music’s angels. I admired, loved, and looked up to her. Her music made me feel like I knew her, like we were close. There will never be another Whitney and no one will ever take her place."
As most "Glee" covers begin, Mercedes opened the number in the classroom before her fellow club members, yet was clearly singing with Sam, her on-going love interest, in mind. As the number progressed, with the remarkable actress building to that famous final run, everyone became much more emotional; resulting in a tearful Mercedes.
Does Riley's performance do Houston's cover justice?