Remembering Whitney Houston: Clive Davis, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren Share Their Stories

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Vince Gill
Singer, songwriter

She was so revered, so loved, and so respected for her talent . It’s a shame that her life derailed as it did. That was hard to watch and hard to see. There’s never been a better singer in the whole world. You get into that caliber of someone who can sing like Whitney and there’s just a handful. People like that, they are just anointed. They are blessed. That’s what makes music so great. If everyone were the same, it probably wouldn’t be near as interesting , but when somebody comes along and is gifted beyond measure, like Whitney is and was, it’s so refreshing.

Natalie Grant
Christian pop singer

She was the greatest musical influence on my life. The first song I ever recorded when I was a young girl and stepped into a studio and stood in front of that huge, intimidating microphone was 'The Greatest Love of All.' We’ve talked about how she didn’t just define a generation, she also created an entire new generation of female artists. What other artist can you say has crossed across every line, no matter who you are and no matter where you’re from, you can all remember the first time you heard Whitney Houston sing.  It’s a great loss for us here, but a huge gain for heaven. She’s singing her butt off.

Debra Martin Chase
Whitney’s movie producing partner, Cinderella

I have almost twenty years of knowing her... She’s a great woman – she was funny, she was warm and very instinctual. I didn’t even say that much to her that first time but she liked me. She got me. And we were off to the races. And she was very wise. She had seen a lot, met a lot of people. Whitney grew up hanging out with Aretha, Elvis. She saw a lot of life. She was in Detroit for six weeks for Sparkle and she spent a lot of time talking about Michael, Elvis, Aretha, Frank Sinatra. She had met everybody, knew them. Because she was such a unique talent, they embraced and supported her. The thing about Whitney, between the acting and the incomparable voice, she was truly one of the greatest performers and entertainers ever. Her first love was always movies. She saw herself as a singer who became a movie star.

Steve Martin
Actor, writer, musician:

Terrible tragedy. But in a way, all the people who respected her are here to honor her [at the Grammys] and I think that's actually quite nice for her that there's such a moment to honor her life.

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