Sam Smith Covers Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”: Watch

Sam Smith considers Whitney Houston as one of his idols – by now, that’s no secret. His parents had signed him up for vocal training after overhearing Smith singing “My Love Is Your Love.” Fast forward to Season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy, and the British R&B crooner can be heard singing Houston’s 1985 single “How Will I Know.” And when he recently stopped by Sirius XM, he decided to cover “How Will I Know” again (above) – this time, without any prime-time drama threatening to drown him out.

Following the June 17 release of In the Lonely Hour, Smith’s take is also a no-brainer. He sings “How Will I Know” – originally, engineered as a pop crossover track for Houston – as an R&B ballad, exhaling deeply through each lyric about wondering if a boy likes her (or in this case, him) back. Houston’s original perfectly captured the feeling of butterflies in the stomach, that nervous yet exciting anticipation that comes with infatuation. By comparison, Smith sounds as if he’s spent the past few nights crying.

How did Sam Smith do when covering Whitney this time around? Watch his take below.