One day after pop music lost one of its icons and greatest voices, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé is opening up about the death of the pop superstar. She recalled meeting the singer for the first time 15 years ago, just as she was breaking into the industry herself.
"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 said in a statement to MTV News. "She took the time to make everyone feel like they were very important to her."
Beyoncé continued in the statement that Houston's killer vocal abilities helped make her the superstar she was. "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 said. "She is our queen and she opened doors and provided a blueprint for all of us. God bless her."
Her statement comes on the same day that Houston will be remembered at the 2012 Grammy Awards. B's "Dreamgirls" co-star Jennifer Hudson will lead the Grammy tribute to the late icon, along with Houston's longtime friend and collaborator, Chaka Khan.
She joins a long list of divas who have recalled Houston's undeniable influence on their own careers, including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Christina Aguilera.
"Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston," Mariah Carey wrote about the loss of Houston, who was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel on Saturday."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."
It's not only pop divas who are recounting her influence, but also producers from the world of EDM. "She had the swagger and she had the voice," Diplo told MTV News during our pre-show live stream. "I was listening to a bunch of records last night, and I was amazed at how deeply I felt about her records as a child."
MTV News' Sway and James Montgomery will be live from the Grammys red carpet all evening to get reactions from music's biggest stars on the death of Whitney Houston. Watch reactions and remembrances at MTV.com. Share your condolences with Whitney's family and friends on our Facebook page.