Another musical titan whose soaring voice ruled the charts for decades has fallen.
Whitney Houston joins an august list of the departed since Michael Jackson's death nearly three years ago.
"First there was MJ, then there was Heavy D and now Whitney,"Â said Shaun Jones, 47, ofÂ Titusville, Florida, adding that he jumped out of bed in disbelief when he heard news of Houston's death.
Rapper Heavy D died last year, as did Nick Ashford, who was one half of the Motown duo Ashford and Simpson.
And in late 2010, singer Mary Christine Brockert, better known by her stage name Teena Marie, died in her sleep.
"It's shocking ...Â all these people are legends. A lot of them are dying too young. It's crazy."
Pop icons such as Houston enjoyedÂ staggering success through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and served as role models to a generation of singers today.