'Whitney WAS being discussed as a mentor': Simon Cowell reveals tragic singer was being considered for new X Factor series - with meetings due to star

Labels: ,

By Nadia Mendoza

Icon: Whitney Houston, seen here with Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole, sang on X Factor in 2009

Simon Cowell today paid tribute to Whitney Houston and said the warning signs that she 'still had problems' came after the singer made an erratic appearance on The X Factor in 2009.

Despite battling her personal demons, the Syco boss, 52, did reveal she was to be considered for a mentor role on the US version of the reality show - with discussion meetings to commence tomorrow.

He also alluded to iconic stars Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, saying the tragic passing of Whitney was simply 'horrible'.

Simon told Sky: 'There are always moments in your life that are horrible to remember. The day John Lennon died, the day Elvis died.

'More recently Michael Jackson, last year Amy Winehouse and now Whitney. I know quite a few people who had been working with her over the years. We all knew Whitney had issues.

'I last met her when she came on the X Factor. You could see at the time there were still a few problems but she was a delight to work with on the day.

'She probably wasn’t all together but it was still Whitney Houston and you were in the presence of a legend and I will never forget that day.

Devastated: Simon tweeted that the world has lost 'one of the greatest singers of all time'

Wardrobe malfunction: Whitney's dress appeared to ping off during her performance on The X Factor in 2009

'Whitney was a true diva, but I use that in the nicest possible way. She had one of the best voices I heard in my life ever.'

The guest appearance on X Factor was billed as the start of her comeback but the worrying performance included an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction and raised concerns for her well-being.

In a separate interview with former Britain's Got Talent co-judge Piers Morgan, Simon told CNN: 'We were ironically going to meet on Monday and of course one of the names we were going to be talking about in that meeting as a possible mentor on the new series of X Factor was going to be Whitney.

'Given the choice, I would have liked to have taken her under my wing as well, because she would have been the ultimate, ultimate mentor to any contestant coming on the show.'

He added: 'Ever since doing this job, particularly doing talent shows over the last 10 years, the No1 singer anyone ever wanted to emulate, if they really wanted to be a superstar, was always Whitney.

'Crying fits': Bobby Brown and Whitney stepped out for dinner together with daughter Bobbi Kristina last week

'We would hear Whitney songs over and over again. She was the benchmark, she truly was.'

He also told Heart FM: 'It's really, really horrible, She was a delight to work with.

'I knew quite a few people who had been working with her over the years, we all knew she had issues.

'There are so few people like her in the world, they are a rarefied breed, true superstar legendary diva. She had one of the greatest voices I've ever heard in my life.'

The iconic singer, 48, has left the world in mourning today after she tragically passed away yesterday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

Life-saving attempts were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.

The cause of death is as yet unknown.

TMZ also reports that according to hotel staff, the star 'partied heavily' with friends last night, who were all drinking in the bar and making lots of noise.

Last week, Whitney appeared to be in high spirits as she reunited with her former husband Bobby Brown, taking their 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina out for a meal together.

Last public outing: Bobby and Whitney appeared to have put troubles behind them as they reunited for dinner

Click here for video