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Image: Whitney Houston
Kevork Djansezian  /  Getty Images file
Mariah Carey called Houston "one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth."
updated 2/11/2012 11:32:18 PM ET 2012-02-12T04:32:18

A collection of reactions to Whitney Houston's death Saturday in Beverly Hills at age 48.

— "Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth." — Mariah Carey, in messages posted on Twitter.

Story: Singing superstar Whitney Houston dies at 48

— "A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice." — Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy.

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What was Whitney Houston's best song?

— "I truly, truly adored Whitney Houston. Her album 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' was the very first album I ever bought." — Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child.

Slideshow: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012 (on this page)

— "I can't believe that Whitney is gone. My heart goes out to her family, to Clive (Davis), and to everyone who knew and loved this amazingly talented and beautiful artist. I will always love her." — Barry Manilow.

— "The morning of the Grammys, the world should pause and pray for the memory of a gifted songbird." — Rev. Al Sharpton, who called for a national prayer to honor Houston and support her family.

Video: Sharpton mourns loss of 'talented' Houston (on this page)

— "I've know Whitney since she was a little girl and I loved her. She was like family to me. I will miss her." — Smokey Robinson.

— "Without a doubt, her voice, for me, and for the world, was the gold standard. She had it all, she broke all barriers." — Tommy Mottola, former chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment

Video: Police: Houston was found 'unresponsive' at scene (on this page)

— "Whitney Houston was the greatest singer I've ever heard and she will be truly missed." — Tony Bennett in a post on Twitter.

"Whitney was the reason many of us do what we do." — Pink, in Twitter post.

Cowell: I was considering Houston for 'X Factor'

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Whitney Houston dies at age 48

  1. Closed captioning of: Whitney Houston dies at age 48

    >>> news coming to us tonight reported by the associated press, singer whitney houston is dead. again this is according to the associated press, whitney houston was 48 years old, a reigning pop star , we are waiting to find out the cause of her death. she was at her peak in the '80s and '90s. she had a very famous, stormy marriage to another singer, bobby brown , that produced a daughter that you see right there. we're trying to found out again the cause of death . she has had a remarkable, remarkable career. she was actually discovered at 19 by clive davis of arita records, comes from a storied musical family, her mother is the gospel singer sissy houston and famous aunt dionne warwick . breaking news out of the associated press, very sad news for the entertainment industry on this weekend of the grammys. we get word that whitney houston , age 48 years old, has died. again we're trying to find out the cause of death . you may be aware she's had a very, very long bat well drugs and alcohol, that was very public. we're looking right now at footage of her actually going to court. she faced many different charges throughout her career, stood by her husband, bobby brown , who also had a very, very public bat well drugs and alcohol, that's actually her ex-husband there, looking at video of them when they were in israel. during their marriage they were a very public marriage, even had a reality show at one point chronicling their ups and downs . she reemerged with a new album a couple years ago, divorced bobby brown and making a comeback but many critics said her voice seemed different, may have been because of years of drug use , not clear. very, very sad news. she was beautiful, beautiful singer, on the phone right now we have courtney hazelett, entertainment reporter on the phone. courtney , are you getting confirmation of her death?

    >> you know the ap has confirmation via one of her publicists. she has a large management team . we haven't heard from everybody absolutely yet. i'm just learning about this at the same time as we all are. this comes as a huge shock obviously. whitney has had her ups and downs like you mentioned a few moments ago. nobody saw this coming. her management team was in talks for her to do more performances this year so it wasn't like she was crawling away from the spotlight in any way. the early stages of her comeback was still, were still in the works. she was supposed to do live performances later on in this calendar year and definitely this is not something that anybody anticipated.

    >> and as recent as a few days ago it was floated she might be one of the judges on " american idol ," that was a possibility for her?

    >> all of the big splashy rolls were bandied about as comeback rolls for whitney houston . she's beloved by her fans, one of those instances where you really cringed every time you heard a bad story about her. this is the ugly side of celebrity here. you hear some stories about celebrities falling by the wayside and people say yeah they had that coming. with whitney houston she had such an amazing voice and presence and people really cherished what she was offering up to the world for so long. nobody liked seeing her stumble as she did in recent years.

    >> right.

    >> so people really wanted her to come back and seeing her as a judge on one of these shows would have been inspirational to a lot of people especially young artists who look up to her.

    >> courtney , what can you tell us about her drug use and alcohol use? her drug use was very public with her marriage to bobby brown . two people seemingly using some sort of substance and then she apparently was cleaned up, she came out with that new album a couple years ago and then what did you hear about her use in the recent last year, two years?

    >> you know, in recent years any time she would have any sort of difficulty, people would first say okay, she's doing drugs again or she's abuses alcohol again, something along those lines and a lot of times representation would say it's exhaustion or something along those lines, the exhaustion line that we hear so often with celebrities whether it's true or not or a coverup or what might be going on. this woman had not battled all of her demons and we've heard from addiction experts every time there's a sad story along the lines, let's be clear, we don't know what the cause of death is at this point.

    >> no, we don't.

    >> any time you hear about the stories addiction is something these people deal with lifelong and with whitney houston her addictions were not something that were 100% behind her. according to anybody who knew her well.

    >> and according to people who knew her well she grew up in this family of gospel singers out of newark, new jersey, and really had a very sheltered upbringing, very strict, sheltered upbringing and wasn't until she became quite famous and dating famous people and of course marrying bobby brown that it was even obvious she had any drug issues. is that true?

    >> you know this isn't something that's unique to whitney houston of course. hollywood, show business , if you will in general doesn't have to be the corner of hollywood per se but whatever aspect of show business you're ensconced in, this sort of lifestyle is something that tends to rear its head quite often sadly enough. whitney certainly wasn't immune.

    >> no, she was not. we should mention also they have a daughter, bobby christina. do you know how old she is?

    >> off the top of my head i don't, i believe she's a teenager or nearing her 20s. they do share a young daughter and she, too, has had to deal with the spotlight. we love to watch reality shows and that's why we talk about " jersey shore " all the time, the fun train wreck that it is and there's the flip-side and you can point to the reality focus put on bobby brown and whitney houston , i'm not sure what good that did for these people.

    >> definitely. as you pointed out she was someone who everybody was rooting for when she was making her comeback. she had a unique voice, more outstanding than a lot of her peers breaking through in the '80s and '90.

    >> beyond unique. we were inundated with the singing competition shows, some of them are better than others, at this exact moment "the voice" is airing on nbc and " american idol " and all these competition shows so now more than ever when you start to see all these people who we think might be talented and how they really stack up, it is hard, hard, hard to find people with the type of just pure voice that whitney houston has, raw talent, like you said. this isn't a kid who was a showbiz kid. this wasn't someone groomed for this from the time they could walk or the time they could make any sort of sound with their choice up until adulthood. this was the real deal . that was whitney houston , a person given a gift and she could sing, had the pipes and it was something she was born with and that we can say that was so unique.

    >> and as obvious to everyone, she was extraordinarily beautiful and was working as a model when she started her singing career. what have you heard about her relationship with bobby brown in the recent years while they've been divorced. was this an amicable divorce? what was their relationship?

    >> for as much as their marriage was chronicled through that reality show , i have to be honest, they kind of fell off the radar with me once they were divorced because just they weren't being followed as carefully or we had new people to follow in the reality realm but they had a tumultuous relationship and that's something that extended just beyond the time they were married but like we hear so often, they share a child and when that's the case, you do the best that you can do, but when you're dealing with two really -- st.

    >> strong personalities.

    >> and people struggling with addiction issues it wasn't the best situation for sure.

Photos: Whitney Houston: 1963-2012

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  1. A life in the spotlight

    Whitney Houston, seen here at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, has died at age 48 after an acclaimed career and a life that kept her in tabloid headlines. Stardom was in Houston's family -- mom Cissy Houston is a Grammy-winning singer, Dionne Warwick is her cousin, and Aretha Franklin was her godmother. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Grammy gold

    Producer Clive Davis and Houston appear onstage at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 12, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nearly one year later almost to the day, Houston would be found dead at the same hotel. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. London calling

    Houston performs at the O2 Arena in London on April 25, 2010. (Samir Hussein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. We are family

    Houston, cousin Dionne Warwick and Houston's teenage daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, arrive at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala in 2011. (Larry Busacca / Getty Images For The Recording A) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. On stage

    Houston speaks during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2009. Six Grammys were among her lifetime total of more than 400 musical honors. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ladies of music

    Dionne Warwick, Houston and Natalie Cole perform together during a tour in Germany in 2009, the first time the three had ever sung together. (Joerg Koch / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. In Israel

    Husband Bobby Brown and Houston toured Israel in 2003. Here, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon welcomes them to his residence. (Quique Kierszenbaum / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Dynamic duo

    Brown and Houston perform during the "VH1 Divas" duets show in Las Vegas in 2003. They wed in 1992, and she gave birth to daughter Bobbi Kristina a year later. The couple divorced in 2007. (Joe Cavaretta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Divas forever

    Houston and Mary J. Blige perform on the "VH1 Divas Las Vegas" concert in 2002. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Pretty in pink

    Houston holds her Grammy award for Best Female Rythm and Blues Vocal Performance for "It's Not Right But It's Okay" at the 2000 Grammy Awards. (Vince Bucci / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. In court

    Houston and Brown are seen in a Georgia court in 2002. He had been arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a 1996 DUI. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. And baby makes three

    Houston and Brown are seen with daughter Bobbi Kristina, then 6, in 1998. (Lucy Nicholson / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. With Mariah

    Houston and Mariah Carey recorded "When You Believe" as a duet in 1998. When Carey first became popular, she sounded so similar to Houston that many thought Carey's songs were actually Houston singing. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Moving on to movies

    Houston also starred in numerous movies, including 1996's "The Preacher's Wife." (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Love is in the air

    Houston was honored at the 1994 Grammys, winning record of the year for "I Will Always Love You" and album of the year for the soundtrack from her movie "The Bodyguard." She is shown with producer David Foster, who shared the honors with her. (Pool / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. 'The Bodyguard'

    In the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," Kevin Costner plays a bodyguard hired to protect Houston's character, a singer, from an unknown stalker. (ZUMA Press/Newscom) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Stunning anthem

    Houston's performance of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl is thought by some to be one of the best versions of the song ever sung. It was released as a single and reached the Top 20. (George Rose / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Houston performing in 1988. (Dave Hogan / Hulton Archive / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Early days

    Houston belts out a song in 1986. Even before she became known as a singer, Houston gained fame as a model, and perennial Seventeen Magazine cover girl. She was one of the first women of color to make the teen magazine's cover. (Elise Amendola / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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