By: Jodi Phillips

Breakout star Sam Smith is fresh off the release of his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, and took a moment to cover one of the most iconic songs of a generation.

While stopping by the Sirius XM Hits 1 studios, Smith stripped and slowed down Whitney Houston’s 1985 hit “How Will I Know.”  The version was originally featured in a recent episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” but the soulful crooner recorded a live, full-length version of the song at the studio.

RELATED: Sam Smith Teams Up With Mary J. Blige

Recently, Smith put together a list of 10 great R&B voices, with Houston topping the list.  In fact, “How Will I Know” is one of Smith’s favorite songs, saying, ” I love the juxtaposition of a melancholy lyric with an upbeat sound. People forget that’s how she rose to fame. The more mature Whitney, like ‘I Will Always Love You,’ came later.”

Other R&B voices Smith added to the list include Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin and Etta James.  He attests his love for powerful women voices on his upbringing. “My whole family has a lot of powerful women,” he tells Rolling Stone.  “So hearing women sing about empowerment and independence, it reminded me of my family and the amazing women in it.”

Smith will perform at the Echostage in D.C. on Sept. 16.

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