I'm very proud of my love for Whitney Houston. She really changed my life. She made my life a better life. She was so beautiful in her love for God, her love for her family and her love for music. She truly loved her music. She could do everything! She had flawless rhythm, flawless pitch, flawless feeling, and flawless beauty.
To be a superstar is incredible pressure. And also in our country, I'm going to speak about this, America. We have a way of kind of making it hard on our superstars. I don't sense it when I go to Europe or I go to Japan.
I believe as musicians and artists we have an obligation to our souls. What that is? Only each one of us knows. I can speak for myself and say my obligation is to be happy. When I'm happy, I make great music. When I'm unhappy and my heart is broken, I may make brokenhearted music, but it still sounds good.
I feel like before I came to the planet I asked God for the gift of music. I didn't want to come here without the gift of music and God granted it to me.
I first fell in love with music when I was a little boy. When I first heard music, I felt the beauty in it. Then, being able to tap along on a table top and box was great, but my favorite thing to do was to watch records spin. I would almost get hypnotized by it. These things are what drew me in initially.
White people couldn't do black music back in the day because they weren't funky or bad enough. They weren't from the ghettoes, but hip-hop and R&B changed all of that because white kids want to be down with it. They wanted to learn it so they studied the culture. It's kind of a cool thing because we shouldn't be so separate.
I've known the glory of the stage and the glory of the spotlight. I still crave it. I want to be on 'American Bandstand' and 'Soul Train' as a solo artist. As a producer, songwriter and arranger, I help other artists say what they want to say. But on my records, I say what I want to say.
What Whitney Houston has accomplished will never be accomplished. She's the most famous person on the planet as far as vocaling and her songs. So I'm very happy that I can sit here and say I had a chance to know her. And I'm still dazed that she's gone. But she lives because her music is so powerful.