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Ariana Grande has the vocal chops to belt Whitney Houston’s most challenging ballads, but the pop star chose to slay with the late music icon’s upbeat hits during Greatest Hits‘ season finale Thursday.
Donning a black ensemble complete with sunglasses, a pearl necklace, and silver knee-high platform boots (the perfect Bodyguard reference), Grande kicked off her medley with Houston’s “How Will I Know,” a pop ditty that hit No. 1 in 1985 — eight years before Grande was born.
“I fall in love whenever we meet,” sang Grande, soaring as she transitioned into her signature falsetto.
After working the stage for her first number, Grande was joined by a team of male dancers for a choreographed performance of “Queen of the Night,” a jam featured on Houston’s 1992 Bodyguard soundtrack.
This isn’t the first time Grande has channeled Houston — she covered the late diva’s classic “I Will Always Love You” in a sketch while hosting Saturday Night Live in March, and in 2014, she performed “I Have Nothing” at the White House as the Obamas looked on.
Check out part of Grande’s latest tribute to her idol in the video below.