Celebrity Reactions to Whitney Houston's Death

Celebrities give their thoughts on Whitney's sudden passing. 

ESSENCE.COM Feb, 11, 2012

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Knight spoke to ESSENCE at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammys gala: “My best memory of Whitney Houston was feeding her. [Laughs] I love to cook — I’ve cooked for so many stars in my lifetime from Sammy Davis on up…. The word got out that [I cooked for people], and they start showing up. Here come bam-bam-bam on the door — who is it? Whitney and her friends [laughs] talking about ‘Ma, I’m ready to eat. Y’all ain’t through cooking yet?’ We had a great time that night. We had so much fun. I remember that night, although I’ve seen her a million times before, for some reason that night stands out — us breaking bread together.”

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“The loss of Whitney Houston is painful. I remember meeting Whitney for the first time when I was 15. She was the ultimate legend. The ultimate woman. Not only was she confident, poised, stunningly beautiful and intelligent, but she was sincere and kind. She took the time to make everyone feel like they were very important to her. I, like every singer, always wanted to be just like her. Her voice was perfect. Strong but soothing. Soulful and classic. Her vibrato, her cadence, her control. So many of my life’s memories are attached to a Whitney Houston song. She is our queen and she opened doors and provided a blueprint for all of us.

God bless her.”

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“Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston.” (via Twitter)

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Clive Davis, opening the gala that was to feature a performance by Whitney:
“She was so full of life and looking forward to tonight, this night that celebrates music. She would have wanted us to carry on and her family asks that we carry on.”

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“She was such a sweet, sweet soul. Especially back in the late ‘80s and early ’90s when I connected with Whitney the most. It doesn’t matter if we were doing an award show. We would always take the time to find one another… We always found the time to talk to one another.”

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Gordy’s statement: “Whitney Houston was not only an amazing artist but also a beautiful person. She was so smart and her knowledge and appreciation for the musical art form was remarkable.”

“Every time we would see each other, we always had wonderful conversations about life and the business.”

“I loved her very much. My heart goes out to her family, and her great friend, Clive Davis, those who knew her well and worked closely with her, and the world for losing such an incredible artist.”

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“I am beyond heartbroken. Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the greatest singers & performers of all time & such a huge influence on me.” (Via Twitter)

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“My best memory of Whitney is working with her on ‘Waiting to Exhale’ and she hand picked all us girls for the soundtrack and she sent us dozens, dozens of flowers. She was the girl we all aspired to be like Whitney Houston. Whitney made it where you didn’t see color, you saw talent. Whitney was a talent.” (Braxton at Clive Davis’ gala)

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Speaking to ESSENCE at Clive Davis’ gala: “It’s devasting. Surely another case of somebody going away from us way too soon. It’s ironic it’s tonight because this was really the event that introduced Whitney to the world, [where] Clive introduced his latest discovery. But in a way it’s appropriate, in a bittersweet way, because Clive introduced us and he will lead us through a celebration of her greatest music tonight. It’s weird how those kinds of things work. We have the music industry gathered and we’ll pay tribute tonight…. To me Whitney was that next person, after Diana Ross, who for a lot of little girls was sort of that bright light called positive African-American beauty and talent; Whitney had that incredible style and voice and all of that. Her influence, when you look at someone like a Beyonce, you know the influence someone like Whitney had on that. So that’s really going to be [her legacy]. And a voice like no other. But also a great person.”

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“Oh Dear Lord! Huritng so Bad!!! MY Sister Whitney!!!!!!! Newark please Pray!!! World Please Pray!” (Via Twitter)

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “She changed the face of music. And Whitney wanted every Black girl to win, whether she’d tell you, ‘Sister, keep doing it’ or ‘Keep strutting, sister’…I’m in shock.”

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“I feel sick…. Life is precious, we are fragile souls. Let’s love each other! I miss you beautiful Whitney, the whole world misses you!!” (Via Twitter)

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“To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang. Heart is heavy, spirit grateful for the GIFT of her.”

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Speaking to ESSENCE from the Clive Davis gala: “My best memory was when she sent me flowers for my Grammy nominations. I took the card and carried it in my purse to the Grammys. I loved the fact that she thought enough of me to even do that. I still have the card, always kept it. It’s Whitney Houston. She was the full package on 10: She was beautiful on 10, she could sing on 10, she was charismatic on 10…. You see people who have one or the other or whatever — she had all of it…. I think she’ll be remembered for looking like a model who sang as good as she looked, and that’s saying a lot. I think that’s how people will remember her.”

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“R.I.P Whitney Houston… A true icon of our time. Gone too soon. My heart goes out to the family in their time of distress.” (Via Twitter)

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“At this time, the question is not how she went… It is how she will be remembered. I will always remember Whitney Houston as a true legend.” (Via Twitter)

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“Wow R.I.P Whitney Houston. So sad. My prayers go out to family, friends, fans…” (Via Twitter)

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “Her music will live on forever. What a presence this woman had; her voice, what a gift from God. I just can’t believe it. I’m stunned. Every time I saw her she’d give me the biggest hug. I mean a hug where you felt love — it’s just insurmountable. I’m going to miss her. I feel like I’ve lost a sister.”

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “My best memory of Whitney was sitting in Atlanta, at some restaurant. It was me, her and her sister. She was talking about the kind of music she wants to do now, the kind of songs she wanted me to write, and she said, ‘I want the world to know that I’m happy. Despite anything that went on, despite the Bobby stuff, despite whatever. I’m happy, I’m not bitter, I’m not depressed, I’ve got my kids, my God and my music. I’m happy. So that’s the songs I need.’ And I was like, well, that’s the songs that I’ll give you.”

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“I Will Always Love U. Shoop Shoop. How Will I Know. Where Do Broken Hearts Go. So Emotional. Jesus Loves Me….all classics like Whitney” (Via Twitter)

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “It’s so sad I cannot even believe it. I think back to that first album and that first album cover, and she came kind of out of no where. We were all like, What?! She was an incredible talent and I cannot wrap my mind around it. I’m so sad about it. And yet I know she had a little party in her and she would want us to carry on in her memory and think about her and listen to the music. I’m sure the downloads are going to be off the charts. She was really a special girl, and she had her problems but she was carrying on and I admire her for trying.”

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“I’m speechless right now. My heart is broken. R.I.P Whitney Houston.” (Via Twitter)

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In a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of Whitney Houston, whom we were blessed to have just completed work with on the remake of the film ‘Sparkle.’”

“We ask the world to join us in lifting up Whitney’s family in prayer and ask God for their strength and comfort during this devastatingly difficult time. At the apex of her career, Whitney had no peer, with a voice that shaped a generation. She has left behind a musical and film legacy that will endure…. she will be sorely missed by us all.”

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“I’m so sad to hear of #WhitneyHouston’s passing. May she rest in peace. My prayers & condolences to her daughter & family. 4ever remembered.” (Via Twitter)

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“I’m so sad to hear of #WhitneyHouston’s passing. May she rest in peace. My prayers & condolences to her daughter & family. 4ever remembered.”

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“Thank u 4 the times we worked 2gether your Voice touched the World! N this rough time I pray for The Houston Family…” (Via Twitter)

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“I’m in Houston on the night we lose Whitney Houston .. Tonight’s show is dedicated to her legacy .. Get to the Verizon Wireless Theater!!!” (Via Twitter)

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“Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time.” (Via Twitter)

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“I feel so sad, may she rest in peace #whitneyhouston.” (Via Twitter)

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “We grew up with Whitney. We felt like we lost someone in our family. It’s really sad. She left a daughter behind. People want to say the bad things and the stuff that Whitney’s been through, but everyone has been through a struggle, you know. She’s a voice of our generation. And our hearts go out to her family.”

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“Whitney??? Pls No!! R.I.P my beautiful! This REALLY hurts my heart!!!!” (Via Twitter)

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“Rest in peace Whitney Houston. This has become the saddest day.” (Via Twitter)

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“Rest in peace Whitney Houston. This has become the saddest day.”

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“R.I.P. Whitney Houston, really can’t believe this.” (Via Twitter)

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“Tell our loved ones how much we love them while they’re still here. I wish I could’ve told Whitney how great she was one last time.” (Via Twitter)

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Speaking to ESSENCE from Clive Davis’ gala: “Whitney means so much to me and to music culture. Artists like her are the reason why we have great music…. Her stage performance is very special. There’s not too many singers that stand you up on your feet. That’s something she did very well. And her smile lit up a room. Even when you would see her here [at Clive Davis’ party], it was very, very special. You always expect her to be here, like, ‘Whitney’s coming!’ and when she came on the carpet you knew it was going to be a moment. Everyone’s clearing out the way, the diva’s coming, and you felt that. There’s so many good things we’re left with, her presence and her legacy. I know it will continue to live on and if there’s anything I can do in my way to keep pushing her legacy, and tell my generation about her legacy, then I’m going totally do it.”

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“Ray J found Whitney Houston on his sister Brandy’s birthday … a prayer for him.”

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AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU… Whitney Houston. Rest in Peace. Light & Love to Bobbi Kristina and Family.” (Via Twitter)

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“#OneMomentInTime has propelled me to many of my grand slams victories. #whitneyhouston” (Via Twitter)

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