Composer and producer Quincy Jones, was one of the first and most eloquent to weigh in on the loss...
"I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney's passing." Jones said in a statement to E! News "Ashford & Simpson first made me aware of Whitney when she was just 16, 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."
Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, released this statement: "Six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston was one of the world's greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades. Her powerful voice graced many memorable and award-winning songs. A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice."
Clive Davis, who held a moment of silence and dedicated the night to her honor at his annual Grammy bash Saturday night, expressed: "By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney's passing. I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life...Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare."
Countless other stars shared their feelings in written statements and online.
Marc Anthony wrote on his Facebook: "I am in utter shock over the loss of my friend and colleague Whitney Houston. We should all feel blessed to have experienced the voice of an angel. I will always cherish the times I got to share the stage with you. My thoughts and prayers to Bobbi, Kristina and family. Gone way too soon."
Gladys Knight, tells E! News: "There will NEVER be another whitney houston. Her voice was unique."
She recalled Dionne Warwick telling of Whitney when she was a little girl. "I've known the family for a very long time. I remember [Whitney's aunt] Dionne calling me and saying, 'Wait till you hear Nicky.' They used to call her Nicky."
Knight continued..."She was a star from above. Her star may not have been shining for long, but when it did, boy did it shine."
Motown founder Barry Gordy said, "Whitney Houston was not only an amazing artist but also a beautiful person. She was so smart and her knowledge and appreciation for the musical art form was remarkable. I loved her very much. My heart goes out to her family, and her great friend, Clive Davis, those who knew her well and worked closely with her, and the world for losing such an incredible artist."
Barry Manilow added, "I can't believe that Whitney is gone.We spent more than twenty great years together at Arista Records with our friend and mentor, Clive Davis. My heart goes out to her family, to Clive, and to everyone who knew and loved this amazingly talented and beautiful artist. I will always love her."
Of course, many stars weighed in on Twitter:
Rihanna: No words! Just tears
Katy Perry: So devastating. We will always love you Whitney, RIP
Queen Latifah: Oh Dear Lord! Huritng so Bad!!! MY Sister Whitney!!!!!!! Newark please Pray!!! World Please Pray!
Ciara RIP Whitney Houston. A Legend lost:( Her voice was insurmountable, her smile was illuminating, she was truly one of a kind and a huge inspiration to me. She has always had sweet and fun words to say to me. I will cherish the moment I was able to share with her, forever. This is truly unbelievable. My prayers and condolences to her family at this sad time.
John Legend: RIP Whitney. So sad. I hope the Grammys can put together a tribute at the last minute
Christina Aguilera: We have lost another legend. Love and prayers to Whitney's family. She will be missed.
Mariah Carey She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.
Justin Bieber: Just heard the news. so crazy. One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and famil
Kim Kardashian: Just heard the tragic news that Whitney Houston passed away. I pray for her daughter & loved ones. We will always love you Whitney.
Kelly Osbourne: i truly hope you are in peace #WhitneyHouston i feel so honored to have known you! i love you RIP!
Lea Michele: I'm speechless. Such sad news about Whitney Houston.
Wyclef Jean: This is the saddest thing I've ever had to write in my life, RIP to one of the greatest humans that I have ever known Whitney Houston
Sean "Diddy" Combs: Whitney Houston!!! OMG!! I really can't believe this.. This is one of the saddest days ever.
Denise Richards: So sad to hear about Whitney Houston..my heart goes out to her loved ones and her daughter.
Pete Wentz: RIP whitney
Kourtney Kardashian: Wow! I just heard of Whitney Houston's passing. My heart and prayers go out to her daughter. She will always be remembered. Very tragic.
Ryan Seacrest: At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned.
Nicki Minaj: Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time.
Khloé KardashianOdom: Just heard Whitney Houston passed away :( many prayers go out to her family and all who are grieving the loss of an icon. So sad... RIP
Amber Patrice Riley: I can't even breathe right now. Not Whitney. I'm in tears right now. ;(
Nick Lachey How tragic to hear about Whitney Houston's passing. Such a shame. She had one of the most iconic voices of my lifetime.
Timbaland: RIP 2 a Legendary Diva, Icon, Mother & Friend Whitney Houston. 1 of the greatest voices ever. u will be truly missed. RIP Whitney Houston
Paula Abdul Am absolutely devastated at the news about Whitney Houston. Such a tragic, tragic loss.
Goldie Hawn I am so very sad to hear of Whitney Houston's passing. She was one of our great artists that graced us all. May she rest in peace.
Kathy Griffin She was A TALENT & A LEGEND. She was never a "reality star" No jokes from me about Miss Houston today.
Bret Michaels My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Whitney Houston. A legend with the voice of an angel, she will be missed.
Joan Rivers Whitney Houston. What a sad tragedy—the end of the life of an incredible talent. RIP to an amazing singer and legend.
Serena Williams #OneMomentInTime has propelled me to many of my Grand Slam victories. #whitneyhouston
La Toya Jackson I can't fathom the fact that #whitneyhouston has died! My heart goes out 2 her mother, daughter & her love ones. #Whitney U will be missed
Toni Braxton She's paved the way for every single singer in the music industry. Iconic, legendary, innovating, amazing, humble...1 the best in the world
My heart is weeping...RIP to the Legendary Diva & Icon Whitney Houston!!!!! Such an incredible influence over music as a whole!
Dolly Parton 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 ["I Will Always Love You"], and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, 'Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.' "
Amber RileyThank you guys, I would have been honored to sing a tribute to her at The Grammys but honestly I don't think I would have made it w/o crying
Joel MaddenSad day for music. There will never be another like her. Rest in peace
Bette Midler Little by little these deaths kill the best part of each of us, the awe and joy we feel when we hear a gift that can only come from God.
Neil Patrick HarrisSuch sad news about Whitney Houston. She was a legend, but what a life..! My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
Jennifer LopezSuch a loss. One of the greatest voices of our time. Sending out prayers to her family... #R.I.P.Whitney.
Jessica Simpson I found my voice singing Whitney Houston's music. Today I lost my idol.
PinkWhitney was the reason many of us do what we do. "a few stolen moments is all that we share" RIP
Aretha Franklin 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.