I remember when she first came on the scene, model beautiful, and that voice! She practically invented the solo power ballad. She had such control of her voice, her runs and glissades were perfectly placed -- unlike her imitators, who get very carried away, careening up and down the scale. She could go effortlessly from full out power "chest" voice to head voice (and does, in "IWALY") and she sang some of the best gospel ever. It's heartbreaking what she did to her voice -- like leaving a Stradivarius out in the rain. Forty eight is WAY too young, and (as with Michael Jackson) we'll never know what kind of comeback she would have made. On the other hand, the sheer amount of influence she had on music, whether R&B, Pop, or Gospel (she was, in fact, a classic crossover artist), in a little over 20 years is immense. How sad.