The star performed a medley of Houston’s hits from “The Bodyguard,” which marks its 25th anniversary this year.
Viola Davis introduced Aguilera, noting the significance of the film’s anniversary.
“The movie has become iconic thanks to its soundtrack,” Davis said. “What a voice Whitney had. What an artist.”
“The Bodyguard” was released on Nov. 25, 1992. The film’s soundtrack went on to become the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time and included some of Houston’s most iconic songs.
Aguilera started the tribute by singing “I Will Always Love You,” followed by “I Have Nothing” and “Run to You.” Scenes from the film played behind the star as she performed.
Aguilera closed the medley with a rendition of “I’m Every Woman,” bringing the crowd to their feet as she performed with a choir.
Houston said in 2001 that other than herself, Aguilera performed the “best rendition of ‘Run to You.’”
Following the performance, Aguilera thanked the AMAs for “making a little girl’s dream come true.”
“I hope I made you proud, Whitney,” she added.