12/02/2012 01:04 GMT | Updated 12/04/2012 06:12 BST

Whitney Houston Dead - Simon Cowell, Quincy Jones, Mitch Winehouse Pay Tribute

Tributes have been pouring in for American singer and actress Whitney Houston, who has died at the age of 48.

The death of the Grammy award-winning star, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, was confirmed by her publicist, leaving the entertainment industry and fans around the world in shock.

Los Angeles police said the troubled singer, who had battled with drug addiction, was found in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton late on Saturday.

Following the news, which came on the eve of this year's Grammys ceremony, fellow celebrities and contemporaries lined up to pay their respects. Music mogul Simon Cowell described Houston as "one of the greatest singers of all time". He wrote on Twitter: "I am so sad to hear about Whitney. We have lost one of the greatest singers of all time."

Full coverage of Whitney Houston's Death

English record producer Peter Waterman paid tribute to the singer, describing her an an "icon".

"She dominated the 80s," he told the BBC. "She had one of the greatest voices of all time. There isn't any better."

The Stock Aitken Waterman songwriter said her drug problems were "the tragedy of success."

"There is a point where an artist just becomes so powerful that you just can't tell them what to do and if you're vulnerable it can be a nasty world," he added.

Mitch Winehouse, the father of late British singer Amy Winehouse who died last year, also paid tribute to Houston and the recently deceased Etta James on the social networking site, writing: "Amy, Etta, Whitney. Their music will NEVER die. What a great girl group in heaven. Mitch".

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones said in a written statement: "I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney's passing. I always regretted not having had the opportunity to work with her. She was a true original and a talent beyond compare. I will miss her terribly."

The cause of Houston's death is unclear, but detectives have launched an investigation.

The I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love singer won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year, selling millions of albums and singles worldwide. She also carried her success into the film industry, appearing in hit movies including The Bodyguard.

However, her career began to unravel as she battled with drug addiction, spending various spells in rehab. Her powerful voice began to suffer because of her demons prompting record sales to nosedive and in 2007 she split from husband Bobby Brown after 15 years of marriage.

Last week Houston was pictured looking dishevelled and disorientated as she left a Hollywood nightclub with her daughter Bobbi Kristina after performing at a pre-Grammy party. Detectives said paramedics unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the singer, who was pronounced dead at 3.55pm local time.