16-Year-Old ‘Idol’ Contestant Jessica Sanchez Could Be the Next Whitney Houston (VIDEO)

jessica sanchezWith all due respect to the late Whitney Houston, I really didn't think I could ever listen to "I Will Always Love You" again. (It's got to be one of the most frequently played singles ever in the history of pop music.) So I was shocked when 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez took the stage on American Idol last night and performed a rendition of the song that literally gave me chills. And the girl is 16!

I can't imagine what it would be like to be such a fully realized talent at 16 years old -- or perhaps a more appropriate speculation at this point in my life would be to wonder what it would be like to be the parent of such a precocious, accomplished teen.

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I'm guessing it would be all about finding a balance between parenting your child and parenting your child's talent, if that makes sense. A gift like the one Sanchez has is a gift that can't be wasted -- I would feel a responsibility to help her nurture and protect that gift.

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But I wouldn't want my child's talent to grow at the expense of her mental, physical, and emotional growth and well-being.

Which is I guess what happened to Whitney, in a way.

But hopefully Sanchez (and her parents) will always remember the tragic end of that great talent and avoid the same lethal pitfalls of success. Because success is definitely just around the corner:

[video type="youtube" id="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayYNAEs0few

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