Kim Burrell wows Whitney Houston with 'I Believe in You and Me' at BET Honors

Introducing Kim Burrell for a surprise tribute to Whitney Houston at the BET Honors, which aired last night, presenter Ne-Yo called her “one of Ms. Houston’s favorite voices on the planet.” He wasn’t kidding: Houston literally leaped out of her seat when she heard Burrell’s name. She stayed up through Burrell’s stirring performance of “I Believe in You and Me,” dancing in the aisles while she watched the gospel singer light up the stage. By the song’s end, Houston was mouthing the words “I love you” with what looked like tears in her eyes. It was a genuinely moving moment, given the personal trials Houston has surmounted in the past decade.

Did you watch the BET Honors last night? What were your favorite moments? Whether or not you tuned in, you can catch Burrell’s tribute to Houston below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (34 total) Add your comment
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  • HD

    It was a nice (if not over-stuffed with unnecessary vocal runs) cover, but JENNIFER HUDSON was incredible and heir apparent to Whitney’s throne. Jhud just sent the chills non-stop during her performance!

    • Bharveyii

      I extremely enjoyed Kim Burrell’s performance. Her ad libs and ornamentation were fabulous! She is indeed two things a jazz singer and a gospel singer . And she performed it the Kim Burrell way. Her ear allows her to do riffs and runs that are often hard for others to do.

  • Bianca

    I have never commented on these boards before, but I had to leave a comment after watching that AMAZING tribute last night. Kim Burrell was other-worldly in her passionate performance. The entire night was a gift, with amazing performances by Jennifer Hudson who took on Whitney’s signature song “I Will Always Love You” so effortlessly. Patti LaBelle, Maxwell, India Arie – WOW! And for it to air one night after the Grammys – double WOW! Anyone who loves music should tune in to catch the reruns on BET. And I promise you – there will be many! :-)

    • vinee

      The BET Honors was a gift! Beautifully produced and BET finally showcased some real singers (not including Tresongz, I’m sure I misspelled his name)! Kim Burrell was definitely the icing on the cake. The world is about to meet an amazing performer; I hear she has a reality show in the making. Whoo-hoo!

  • john

    Kim burrell’s tribute to Whitney was THE performance of the night! There was definitely a connection there from one gospel singer to another. This was the best Whitney tribute and I enjoyed it.

    Moved to tears at Kim ministering to Whitney and Whitney going to church. And yes, EW, Whitney was crying and if you have ever been to a Black church then you would know that she was getting her praise on.

  • tina

    Loved Jennifer’s performance but I kept hearing Whitney’s vibrato in my ear, lol! It’s clear that Jen loves her some Whitney and whitney the same for Jen.

    So refreshing to see a superstar be fans of other artist, be real and not ashamed to show their love for God. Praying for you Whit and yes, I got both of your new cds.

  • Elizabeth

    I only caught a little of it, but it was sweet to see Whitney react that way and Kim sing to her.

  • Romey

    Ms. Burrell’s performance was amazing. JHud, MJB and Ms. LaBelle were outstanding.

    • D.

      for whoever who said that Kim Burrell doesnt have a nice voice needs to sit down please sit down that song was sung right, and together for everybody to stand up the other night so hush.

  • john

    Kim Burrell’s performance did it for me. She doesn’t have a pretty voice but she has the annointing and her felt her and Whitney’s connection as she personalized her love and support for the diva.

    I was MOVED to tears and totally related to Whitney getting her praise on- they both took it to church and yes, EW, Whitney was crying!

    • Fredo777

      She doesn’t have a pretty voice? Completely disagree. She has an amazing voice.

  • Chichi

    The big winner of the night was Hudson. The woman was showing off a way more comfortable upper register in her voice and a killer figure.

  • Henry

    It was a fitting tribute to a woman who has given so much of herself in her career. Despite her personal trials and tribulations (which she has a right to), one thing I can say is that she has given the world so much joy from her voice. Now….it’s time to allow The Voice of a Generation to slowly retire into the history books of the Best Singers of our and any other time, because as her “comeback” has sadly proven performance after performance, The Voice is no more. Bravo, Ms. Burrell. And thanks for the memories, Whitney. Now, go live your life…

    • Chichi

      People still find joy in what her voice is now. I don’t think that is for you, or any of us to decide if she should retire. And some don’t mind her new role as the Aunt you only talk to during the holidays because she’s bat ish crazy.

    • wsm

      Henry – you have no idea what you’re talking about. The “voice” will always
      be the “voice”. Yes, it has changed a little over time but it is and always will be heavenly.

    • Princess P.

      Henry I disagree with Whitney’s voice being a thing of the past. But, I won’t start an unnecessary thread.

  • tessa

    Why the hell should Whitney retire? I love her cd and I bump ‘worth it’ and for the lovers regularly. she still has more to give and it’s not for you, som anonymous nobody to tell her what to do. God still has work Whitney to do and I believe it.Aretha still singing right!

  • Jennie

    While the performances were ALL excellent…I still can’t figure out WHY Whitneys is getting awards for going to rehab and FINALLY divorcing Bobby Brown? WTF? SMH!

    • Princess P.

      Whitney Houston is an American Icon. After a seven year absence she returns with a Number 1 album. What does that tell you? Whitney Houston deserves every single award that she receives. Twenty-five years in the music industry and one of the best singers in the history of music. She is a Legend. And has years of good music to come.

  • faith

    *Kanye moment* Whitney got that award because her album, ‘I Look to You’ sold 2million copies worldwide, was #1 in 8 coutries including the US, 940k sold in the US- check the stats- whose doing that today on the female side who has 25yrs in the game..NOONE!

    • cee

      Kim B is untouchable. No her voice is not like many, very unique…but it is beautiful. She has vocal ability that many don’t have…I just wanted to clear that up. google her and listen to some music and you will understand. And Yes…the anointing makes it all the better.

  • Tiffany

    Hmmmm that performance was delicious. Kim sing that song. Whitney needed that love and encouragement and the runs were just fine placed just fine and right….. Go Kim Go Whitney Go God.

  • cehhw

    I loved Whitney back in the day. But let’s face it, her voice has changed, how could it not? But she’ll always be ourr gurl!

  • Ollie

    I have to agree that her once glorious voice is no more, however she still comands the presence of a superstar and always will.

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