Blind Girl’s Amazing Version of ‘I Will Always Love You’ Will Give You Chills! [Watch]
A blind girl from the Philippines has found internet fame after her heartfelt rendition of "I Will Always Love You" has gone viral.
Elsie Balawing has been completely blind since birth, according to a post on the Facebook page of Darrell Burnett, who has posted a string of videos of her singing hits from various genres. In the video above, which he shared in August, Balawing performs Dolly Parton's signature hit in the vocal style Whitney Houston made famous with her landmark cover from the 1992 film The Bodyguard.
She delivers the song seated outside of her family's humble home in a small fishing village in the Philippines, and she doesn't need any studio trickery or elaborate production to convey the song; as the video demonstrates, she can even handle the power and range of the final chorus, which modulates into an even higher key for added impact.
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The video has received more than 17 million views since it was posted several weeks ago. Balawing's age is not clear, but Burnett says she's never been to school and never learned English, making her performance that much more impressive. She listens to songs and has to learn them phonetically in order to sing them.
Parton wrote "I Will Always Love You" for her mentor, Porter Wagoner, in 1973 after leaving his variety show. She included it on her Jolene album in 1974, and it reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The song hit No. 1 again in 1982, when she re-recorded it for her film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Houston's powerful cover from The Bodyguard spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, and it won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance of the Year.
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