Jordin Sparks believes her late co-star Whitney Houston would have been “really proud” to see her on “Dancing With the Stars.”
“I didn’t get to know her for very long, but the time I did spend with her really, really impacted me and I’ve carried it with me since, obviously,” the singer, 32, told Page Six during a post-show presser Monday night.
“I am still loving and admiring her all these years later. I know she would be really, really proud,” Sparks continued.
“And if she was in that audience, she would’ve been standing up. She would’ve been screaming just like all of us. She was so supportive.”
Sparks made her “DWTS” debut Monday night by performing a Cha Cha to one of Houston’s most famous hits, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
She and her pro partner, Brandon Armstrong, received a score of 26/40 from judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough.
While speaking to Page Six about what it was like paying tribute to Houston, she also shared some of her favorite memories from working alongside the late icon in “Sparkle.” The two filmed the musical movie shortly before Houston’s tragic death in February 2012.
“We were sitting and we were just waiting for camera to turn around. She started playing some amazing music, and somebody did this amazing run. I was like, ‘Wow, I wish I could do that,’” Sparks recalled.
“She looked at me and was like, ‘You can do that. You can do that. Don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t. Don’t let anybody else tell you you can’t.’”
Sparks, who won Season 6 of “American Idol,” went on to say that she’s “carried” Houston’s advice with her through many of her performances over the years.
“She’s really impacted me in that way,” she gushed. “To know that you can impact somebody’s life without knowing them for a very long time.”
Back in 2009, Houston made her own appearance on “DWTS” when she performed “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Million Dollar Bill” during the Season 9 finale. At the end of the evening, Donny Osmond and his pro partner, Kym Johnson, took home the coveted mirrorball trophy.
“Sparkle,” which was a remake of a 1976 film based on The Supremes, was originally intended to mark Houston’s comeback. However, the singer died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles prior to its release on Aug. 17, 2012. She was 48.
“Like all those who knew and loved her, we are shocked and saddened and the world has lost an incomparable talent,” Sony Pictures said in a statement at the time.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns Monday for “Elvis Night” at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Disney+.