â€œWhitney Houston was an unbelievable talent and one of the greatest voices of all time. Her passing is a tremendous shock and a terrible shame. She had a rough life and was under so much pressure as an artist, because she meant so much to the music community. She was one of the most admired singers ever, who was loved by everybody. Weâ€™re praying for her family.â€
Gamble & Huff also recalled Ms. Houstonâ€™s strong Philly connection:
– A then-unknown Whitney Houston recorded â€œHold Me,â€ a duet with Gamble & Huff recording artist Teddy Pendergrass for his 1984 Elektra album, â€œLove Language,â€ his first following the automobile accident that left him paralyzed.
– Gamble & Huff wrote and produced a number of hits with the late Linda Creed, who later wrote Houstonâ€™s #1 Smash, â€œGreatest Love of All.â€ They first met Houston in Philadelphia at a memorial for Creed, following her death from breast cancer, recalling that Houston â€œlooked like a model and had so much going for herâ€ when they went to her dressing room. They also recalled seeing Houston for the last time at Clive Davisâ€™ annual pre-Grammy party in 2008.
– Gamble & Huffâ€™s relationship with the Houston family began in the late â€˜60s when they worked with the R&B act the Sweet Inspirations, founded by Cissy Houston. A Gamble & Huff composition, “Gotta Find Me A Brand New Lover” appeared on the groupâ€™s fifth album (Sweet Sweet Soul) in 1969, and â€œwhenever Cissy couldnâ€™t find a baby sitter, sheâ€™d bring Whitney to our studio in Philly. Cissy always used to talk about her daughter when we were recording with her, and what a great talent she was going to be.â€