February 11th, 2012
10:56 PM ET
Fans of '80s R&B music have suffered yet another loss.
Just months after the deaths of '80s R&B chanteuse Vesta Williams, rapper Heavy D and singer/songwriter Nick Ashford, who was one half of the duo Ashford and Simpson, fans are once again grappling with the silenced voice of one of the superstars of that era: Whitney Houston.
The New Jersey native and daughter of famed background singer Cissy Houston first burst onto the music scene in 1985 with her debut album "Whitney Houston."
According to Billboard, the album sold millions and earned Houston her first Grammy for best female pop vocal for the single "Saving All My Love For You."
She went on to have other hits from that album, including "The Greatest Love of All" and "How Will I Know." Mentored by impresario Clive Davis, she sealed her place in pop history with successful music videos for songs like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" from her 1987 album "Whitney."
"The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd tweeted "Vesta Williams ... Whitney Houston ... too soon ... can't make sense of it." Williams was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room in September. It was later determined that Williams had suffered from heart trouble.
Houston's staggering career success through the '80s and into the '90s cast her as a major influence for future artists. On Saturday night Simon Cowell told CNN's Piers Morgan that "I would have liked to have taken her under my wing, as well...she would have been the ultimate mentor for any of the contestants on the ['X Factor']."
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