Britney Spears' Surprising Relationship With Whitney Houston

Even pop stars have their idols, and Britney Spears is no different. Unsurprisingly, Whitney Houston was a major influence on the singer as she started out. So much so, that a young Spears' cover of Houston's "I Have Nothing" reportedly landed her a record deal with former label Jive Records in 1997 (via Business Insider). The demo of her rendition was unearthed by Spears' ex-boyfriend, Reg Jones, according to iHeart Radio, who was reportedly "attempting to auction off the pop star's early intimate apparel as well as her demo cassette tape."

Jive Records executive John Seabrook later spoke of the demo in his book "The Song Machine," revealing that the demo saw Spears experimenting with different vocal ranges. "When her voice went up high, you could hear the girlish quality, and there was something really appealing about that," he wrote, in comparison to her lower range which "sounded awful in places."

Following the demo and Spears' success in the late '90s, the "Toxic" hitmaker would eventually get the opportunity to meet her idol in person.

Whitney Houston reportedly offered to help Britney Spears

During a tribute event for Whitney Houston following her death in 2012, per Digital Spy, Britney Spears recalled the time she met the singer at the World Music Awards in Monaco. "I was maybe 17-years-old," she told Access Hollywood (via YouTube). "I just remember being so excited! I was just like, 'Oh my God, it's Whitney Houston, oh God!' I was really excited," the singer added. 

Spears went on to say that Houston's voice "alone said so much in every song she sang and through the radio you could feel her emotion and the type of person she is and what she's gone through. She's just someone I really admire."

And it seems Houston had an affinity with Spears, too. When the pop star was going through a tumultuous time in 2007, Houston reportedly offered to guide her through the process of getting better. "She believes that if she can bounced back from hell, Britney can too," a source close to the singer told Marie Claire. "She's told her that she's prepared to hold her hand all the way as she does what she has to do to stop destroying her life," they said.