Brandy spent the evening of her 33rd birthday in tears.
Earlier that afternoon, the singer and actress’ longtime inspiration and mentor Whitney Houston passed away suddenly at the age of 48. Though Brandy attended Clive Davis‘ annual pre-Grammys bash, the somber star told Us Weekly she “really wanted to perform” that night, “but I’m in a bad space right now.”
On Monday, Brandy decided to publicly pay tribute to the six-time Grammy Award winner. “My heart is destroyed. I lost my idol and dear friend. My prayers go out to Whitney’s family and her millions of fans around the world,” Brandy told Us in a statement. “Whitney — the greatest voice of all time — you are my angel and I will always and forever love you.”
The two women starred in the mega-successful TV remake of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella in 1997; it was the No. 1 program of the week, with more than 60 million viewers.
Houston’s body is expected to be flown back east for a rumored funeral in Newark, New Jersey, where she was born in 1963. The “So Emotional” singer is believed to have overdosed on a lethal combination of prescription pills and alcohol in her Beverly Hilton hotel room. She is survived by her daughter, BobbiKristina, 18, and her mother, Cissy.