Simon Cowell confirms Whitney Houston was 'in talks' for The X Factor USA

Simon Cowell

X Factor boss Simon Cowell has revealed he was preparing to invite Whitney Houston to become a judge on the USA version of the show.

Legendary American singer Whitney Houston died early this morning, aged just 48.

"We have lost one of the greatest singers of all time," Simon said in a statement.

In an interview with CNN after news of the death broke, Simon explained how he was hoping to get the 'I Will Always Love You' singer onboard The X Factor this year.

"Whitney - ever since I've been doing this job, particularly doing talent shows over the last 10 years, the number one singer anyone ever wanted to emulate, if they really wanted to be a superstar, it was always Whitney," he said.

The music mogul told host Piers Morgan how talks with the star were due to take place only this week.

He continued: "There are so few people like her in the world. They are a rarefied breed, these are true superstar, legendary divas and I say divas in the nicest possible way.

"She had one of the greatest voices I have ever heard in my life, ever."

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