Beyonce Knowles has paid tribute to ''the ultimate legend'' Whitney Houston.
The 'Love on Top' hitmaker talked of the ''painful'' loss of the fellow pop singer - who was found dead in a room at the Beverley Hilton hotel on Saturday (11.02.12) - and recalled their first meeting when she was just 15 years old.
Beyonce said: ''The loss of Whitney Houston is painful. I remember meeting Whitney for the first time when I was 15. She was the ultimate legend. The ultimate woman.
''Not only was she confident, poised, stunningly beautiful and intelligent, but she was sincere and kind. She took the time to make everyone feel like they were very important to her.''
The 30-year-old star went on to praise Whitney as a ''queen'' who all young female singers aspired to be like.
She added in a statement to MTV News: ''I, like every singer, always wanted to be just like her. Her voice was perfect. Strong but soothing. Soulful and classic.
''Her vibrato, her cadence, her control. So many of my life's memories are attached to a Whitney Houston song. She is our queen and she opened doors and provided a blueprint for all of us. God bless her.''
Since Whitney's passing, a musical tribute has been paid to her at the Grammy Awards by Jennifer Hudson last night (12.02.12), who sang her track 'I Will Always Love You', while other celebrities, including Mariah Carey, Amber Riley and Khloe Kardashian, have praised the star.
Whitney's family have thanked fans and the singer's friends for their support.
A statement released by the Houston family read: ''We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney.This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends.''