I, probably like everybody else, was hit by this shocking sense of disbelief – especially with Whitney Houston. It had not been a secret, the struggles Amy had been through — both brilliant, brilliant artists and obviously both huge losses. But when these things happen, I’m always shocked by the first thing you say — ‘It’s such a loss’ — which doesn’t quite cover it. Then you reflect and you think, ‘How did it happen? How did the people around them allow it to happen?’ We’ve lost so many great artists that way when you think about it. So history just kind of repeats itself over and over.
One thing I was struck by with Whitney Houston is I remember she sort of came out as a singer around the same time I did. I remember looking at her singing and hearing people talk about her, and just thinking, ‘Oh my God. She’s such a beautiful woman and my God, what an incredible voice. I wish I could sing like that.’ I just remember being extremely envious of her and also touched by her innocence.