The world has today lost one of its truly great vocalists.
Actress and legendary songstress Whitney Houston has passed away suddenly at the age of 48.
Her death comes less than 24 hours after she was spotted on the town in Los Angeles at pre-Grammy Award celebrations, earlier saying hello to producer, mentor and good friend Clive Davis during an interview with Brandy & Monica on E! News.
Performers from all genres took to Twitter to express their shock and sadness at the loss.
British singer Alexandra Burke tweeted, "I can't believe we have lost Whitney. I can't stop crying... I'm so sad. RIP Whitney, my hero..".
Fellow diva Mariah Carey said, "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.", while Christina Aguilera stated, "We have lost another legend. Love and prayers to Whitney's family. She will be missed."
Many others expressed their love and support for Whitney's daughter Bobby Kristina.
Though her battle with drugs and alcohol was well documented, it was for her music that Whitney will always be best remembered.
Whitney burst onto the international scene in 1985, achieving No.1 success in America with her classic 'Saving All My Love For You'. The song introduced the world to a bright-eyed young songstress possessing a voice of unsurpassed clarity, strength and soul.
Further success followed throughout the rest of the '80s, with 'How Will I Know', 'Greatest Love Of All', 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)', 'Didn't We Almost Have It All' and 'So Emotional'.
The string of chart hits continued into the '90s with 'I'm Your Baby Tonight', but it was for that single lifted from the soundtrack for 'The Bodyguard' (in which the singer starred) that she'll possibly best be remembered.
The Dolly Parton-penned 'I Will Always Love You' was a monster, sailing to No.1 globally and ensuring Houston had reached the upper echelons of super stardom. The song has sold more than seven million copies worldwide.
Of course, further hits followed in the late '90s with 'My Love Is Your Love' and 'It's Not Right But It's Okay' and in the early noughties, Whitney teamed up with Enrique Iglesias and George Michael for the singles 'Could I Have This Kiss Forever' and 'If I Told You That' respectively.
Sadly, years of substance abuse had started to take their toll and by the time her 2009 album 'I Look To You' rolled around, it was clear that, although there were glimmers, that once stunning, crystalline vocal was no more.
Single 'Million Dollar Bill' became a dance hit in the US and secured a top five placing in the UK, but after live performances (including here in Australia in early 2010) revealed the extent of damage to that vocal, the album quickly faded into the halls of pop history.
A troubled life cut far too short, Whitney was one of the greatest. A legend, a soul icon, a diva. Hers formed part of the soundtrack of our lives and today, we join the world in mourning her passing.