'The Voice': Kennedy Holmes stuns audience and judges once again with 'Greatest Love Of All' tribute to Whitney Houston
Considering Kennedy's age, she was just a few years old when the legend passed away, but that didn't stop Kennedy's parents from teaching her about the icon's legacy growing up
NBC's reality show, 'The Voice,' had a lot happening on its Monday night’s Live Playoffs. But the one thing that managed to stand out the most was contestant Kennedy Holmes' rendition of the evergreen Whitney Houston ballad "Greatest Love of All."
All of 13, Kennedy closed out the playoffs with her powerful take on what has been one of Houston's most iconic songs, and by the looks of it, judges and viewers weren't the only ones superbly impressed by her performance. Kennedy herself couldn't have been more thrilled about paying homage to the late legend with a song that was fan-selected.
“I’ve been listening to her forever,” Kennedy told reporters right after her performance. “‘Greatest Love of All’ is one of the songs that I’ve been singing since I was young. It was my go-to song when someone would be like, ‘Hey Kennedy, sing something.’ It’d be the first song I’d sing. I love it because it’s one of those songs that I can connect to and just be in the moment. It’s Whitney Houston. I get to honor her through the song so it’s amazing.”
Considering Kennedy's age, she was just a few years old when the musical legend passed away back in 2012, but that didn't stop Kennedy's parents from teaching her about the icon's legacy growing up, and that's something she seems to have religiously cultivated.
“Yes, it’s a new generation or whatever, but my dad still listens to old school music and so does my mom,” she said. “I even do. Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin — I listen to a lot of old music, and I love Whitney. All the emotion she puts on stage is something you can really learn from.”
Kennedy's coach on the show, Jennifer Hudson, couldn't stop gushing about her mentee either. Right after Kennedy's performance, the singer - who had paid tribute to Houston just one day after her death in February 2012 at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards - remarked, “I know mama Whitney is proud up there. We will see your name in lights in your own rights.”
But Kennedy herself is no stranger to such encouraging compliments as she has been wowing judges with her powerful command over the art since the very beginning, and managed to even earn a four-chair-turn with her cover of Adele’s “Turning Tables” during the blind auditions back in October.
As for her preferred choice of coach, Kennedy revealed she ultimately chose Jennifer because she had sung Hudson’s version of “I Am Changing” from 'Dreamgirls' for one of her first performances.
It's no secret Kennedy is a big fan of Hudson, even though, by the looks of it, the teenager has a fan following of her own. “My watch party was out in St. Louis, and I was so happy that school friends and family came,” she said. “I was really just thankful for all of the love and support. Even people who couldn’t make it [were] posting on their [Instagram Stories] like, ‘Kennedy killed it.’ I’m just really thankful.”
She also mentioned how she gets recognized in public places like at malls and Olive Gardens. “I was just at the mall and there was this couple and they were like, ‘Kennedy!'” she said. “At first, I thought it was Kirk [Jay], but then I turned around and they were like, ‘We love you so much, you’re amazing!’ And there was another couple back at Olive Garden. It’s so fun to get to meet people and be there in that moment.”
Season 15 of 'The Voice' airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.