The 'Escape' hitmaker, who is in a long-term relationship with former Russian tennis star, Anna Kournikova, gushed about being ''inspired'' by the late 'Greatest Love Of All' singer, who died in February 2011, during a Q&A with his fans at an Atlantico rum-hosted Gilt City New York event at Tenjune.
A source told People.com that the 38-year-old Latin heartthrob, who recorded the duet 'Could I Have This Kiss Forever' with Whitney in 2000, was initially in good spirits but turned sentimental when he started talking about Whitney, whom he ''always admired'' and recalled singing along to her hits when he was growing up.
The eyewitness added: ''He arrived with an entourage and brought rum for everyone to drink. He posed for photos with fans and answered fan questions. He seemed like he was in a really good mood.''
Enrique was also asked about his celebrity crush, and opted to single out actress Diane Lane instead of his famous girlfriend.
The couple sparked rumours their 12-year romance was on the rocks in October because the 'Heart Attack' singer was reluctant to get married.
But they moved into their new $26 million mansion in Miami, Florida later that month.
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The film is almost half an hour longer than 'The Force Awakens'.
The actress will no doubt be returning for the long-running FX series.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.