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Simon Cowell mulls Whitney Houston tribute for ‘X Factor’

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Simon Cowell would love to find a special way to honor the late Whitney Houston on ‘The X Factor’ -- as long as his pals at ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’ don’t beat him to it.

‘It’s going to be a whole different feeling when contestants come out and sing her songs, because she’s not around anymore,’ the tart-tongued British impresario told reporters Wednesday afternoon. ‘It’s sad.’

During a conference call with journalists, fellow ‘X Factor’ judge L.A. Reid picked up a reporter’s suggestion and said an on-air Whitney salute would be a great idea when ‘X Factor’ returns in the fall. In November, the show devoted an episode to the songs of Michael Jackson; in attendance were several Jackson family members, including the late singer’s mother.

‘I’ve got a feeling we’re going to see a Whitney tribute on ‘The Voice’ and ‘Idol’ before us,’ Cowell remarked, adding that ‘Factor’ would have to find a ‘different’ way of doing it. ‘We’re going to continue to pay tribute to Whitney. ... Her songs literally are timeless. ... Whether we find anyone as good as her, that’s a whole different ball game.’

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Reid, however, batted aside some reports that indicated Houston was being weighed for a judges’ role at the show prior to her death.

‘We loved Whitney and we would certainly have considered her, but it never came to that,’ Reid said. ‘There was interest, but we really didn’t get that far.

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-Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)


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