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

Back when people actually watched American Idol, one of the classic mistakes a contestant could make was covering Whitney Houston. The judges would always caution singers, tell them that there was no way their versions could stack up to the original. (Maybe they still do this? It’s been a while since I watched that show.) So credit Sam Smith with having a lot of balls. The British soul singer, who has already gone head-to-head with Mary J. Blige, covered Whitney’s 1985 single “How Will I Know” during a recent Sirius XM session. And Smith fared well, mostly because he switched up the uptempo song into a soft dirge, with his tender voice accompanied only by piano. Watch Smith’s version below.

Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour is out now on Capitol.