Music world unites in tribute to Whitney

Updated: 2012-02-13 10:20

By Chen Nan, He Na and Wang Chenyan (China Daily/Agencies)

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Zhang Liangying, winner of TV's Supergirl talent show, and Lin Yu-Chun, who is known as Taiwain's answer to Susan Boyle, both said on Sunday that Houston had been a major influence on their lives.

Lin, 24, whose version of I Will Always Love You has been viewed at least 480,000 times on Youtube, the video-sharing website, said he had always wanted to duet with the US sensation. "My dream can never be fulfilled now," he was quoted as saying by media in Taiwan. "My heart is broken."

Many other stars from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland expressed their grief on the Internet.

"Whitney your great voice was the spark that ignited the explosion of stars who followed behind you," wrote Taiwan singer-songwriter Tanya Tsia on her micro blog.

The blog sphere was also lit by messages of grief from Houston's fans across China's mainland, many of whom grew up in the 1980s. Most said they were left speechless by the tragic news.

"Whitney Houston, you were my first contact with a foreign female singer. Thanks for your songs for so many years. I'll never forget your voice," wrote one of the 500,000 bloggers who had posted on Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging website, as of 4:30 pm on Sunday.

"What a pity!" wrote Vicky Hao, a Chinese Canadian who works as a simultaneous interpreter in Beijing. She added that Houston had "one of the most powerful voices in the business" and that her songs were always moving.

Yu Yang, a 30-year-old engineer at a State-owned enterprise in Beijing, told China Daily that he remembers being surprised by how well Houston could act when he watched The Bodyguard.

"I first listened to her songs and I thought she just a singer, but in fact she was a great entertainer," he said.

Johnny Jiang, who works for PayPal in Shanghai, said he was devastated by the news of Houston's death. He has been listening to the diva's music since he was at middle school.

"She was blessed with talent. Her voice was the soundtrack to an era," he said.

 Music world unites in tribute to Whitney

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (center) hugs a fellow guest on Sunday at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards show gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the hotel in Los Angeles where Houston was found dead. Kevork Djansezian/Agencies