Whitney Houston may have passed on, but she continues to be immortalized by the unending list of renditions that trail her songs. Ashly Williams earned herself a prime spot on that list with a performance of “I Will Always Love You” that drove X-Factor judges to tears.
Williams, a 24-year-old sales associate, was at the X-Factor US auditions to sing in memory of her mother who was murdered years earlier.
“This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for; the moment that my mother would have been proud to see me accomplish,” Williams said in between sobs. “My mother’s not here today but this is me dedicating my life and my soul to making my dream happen for her”
When Williams got on stage, X-Factor creator and judge mostly known for his blunt comments, Simon Cowell, asked what was interesting about her. Williams had no immediate answer, but when she took off with the performance a few seconds later, everyone saw what was special.
The vocal powerhouse delivered here rendition with a soulful voice and so much emotion that the whole room was carried along. Long before Williams sang the last note, the audience was cheering, and the judges were transfixed.
One of the judges, former Disney star Demi Lovato was moved to tears, and even the stoic Cowell could not mask his approval.
Not only was the panel blown away by Williams’ tear-jerking performance, but they were also impressed by her humility.
“You’re saying thank you to everyone, and it’s beautiful, and it’s humbling. But thank you baby girl, for spilling your heart out in that vocal,” said Kelly Rowland of the defunct Destiny’s Child.
Paulina Rubio confessed that she was captivated by Williams’ performance and Lovato gushed:
“I’m like speechless…I had chills all over my arms and legs.”
But it was Cowell’s comment that sealed the deal for the talented Williams. He confirmed:
‘We brought the show to America to find someone like you.”
ANOTHER WHITNEY HOUSTON MEMORIAL
"Connie From Sheffield" is another girl that stole the internet's hearts with her rendition of Houston's classic at a local talent show in Ingoldmells.
The organizer of the show could not hide his impression of the ten-year-old: “She sang Whitney Houston. It was a woman’s voice inside a child. It was phenomenal. I was blown away.”