Mariah Carey, Diddy, Others React to Whitney Houston's Death

As news traveled of the pop legend's passing, public figures spoke out

Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of International Favorite Artist Award at the American Music Awards.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of The International Favorite Artist Award at the American Music Awards.
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Whitney Houston's death at the age of 48 has created an outpouring of reactions on Twitter and elsewhere.

Her family released a statement Sunday afternoon:

We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends. — The Houston Family.

Mariah Carey released the following statement:

Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. My heartfelt condolences to Whitney's family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.

Aretha Franklin, Houston's godmother, posted on Facebook:

I just can’t talk about it now. It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby.

Diddy attended Clive Davis' pre-Grammy gala and said, "Whitney always hit you with that beautiful smile, that incredible energy. Whitney Houston had the greatest voice in the world. We truly lost an angel."

“Whitney was family to me," Smokey Robinson told CNN. "I will always love her. She is one of the greatest voices in the history of music."

At the Cash Money Records party last night, rapper Mystikal called the news "Very sad." Busta Rhymes told Rolling Stone, "She was my friend." Rhymes remembered the last time he saw Houston, at a small party with Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz and family. "It was an intimate moment – a friends and family moment. It wasn't a music gathering. It was getting together after a long work day and enjoying a nice evening."

Dolly Parton, who wrote "I Will Always Love You," which was one of Houston's greatest hits, released a statement:

Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, “Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.”

"Sound of Philadelphia" producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff released a statement calling Houston "one of the greatest voices of all time," adding,

Her passing is a tremendous shock and a terrible shame. She had a rough life and was under so much pressure as an artist, because she meant so much to the music community. She was one of the most admired singers ever, who was loved by everybody. We’re praying for her family.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released this statement on the passing of the Garden State native:

Whitney Houston was a true New Jersey treasure. Her terribly premature death is an awful loss for her family and the incredible New Jersey musical family. Her soaring talent put her in the pantheon of great New Jersey musical talents like Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.

Quincy Jones:

I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney’s passing. Ashford & Simpson first made me aware of Whitney when she was just sixteen, and I always regretted not having had the opportunity to work with her. She was a true original and a talent beyond compare. I will miss her terribly.

Producer Rodney Jerkins, who worked with Houston on "It's Not Right But It's Okay:"

Whitney Houston was by far one of the greatest artists I ever worked with. One of the most amazing, anointed, gifted voices I've ever had the chance to capture in the studio. Most importantly she was a beautiful person, she had such a sweet, beautiful spirit. She blessed us with so much greatness in songs that we can never ever forget her. Whitney was a dear friend and my family will truly miss her. Our love and prayers go out to the entire Houston family! We love and miss u Whitney!