'Waiting to Exhale' Cast Pays Tribute to Costar Whitney Houston

In the 1990s, Whitney Houston successfully transitioned from pop idol to movie actress, and one of her most memorable roles was in the acclaimed family drama Waiting to Exhale, opposite Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine.

As news of Houston's unexpected death on Saturday spread across Hollywood, the costars shared their grief for the artist they bonded with on the set of director Forest Whitaker's adaptation of the best-selling Terry McMillan novel.

"I am so thankful to have been enveloped by the warmth of Whitney's great talents. They were undeniable and vast," Bassett, 53, tells MTV News in a statement. "Whatever her burdens, she has at last laid them down and picked up instead a crown. For truly, she was and will ever be for us -- who were so captivated by her strengths -- unparalleled."

Bassett's friend and fellow Waiting to Exhale star, Devine, also paid tribute to Houston, whom she also worked with on The Preacher's Wife and Boston Public.

"I am overwhelmed. I cannot wrap my mind around this...When we spoke last she had just finished Sparkle, and she told me how excited she was to start production on Waiting to Exhale 2 with Angela, Lela [Rochon] and myself," Devine said. "My prayers go out to her family and I am so honored for the time I spent working with her...I love you, Whitney, and I will miss your easy laugh."

The studio responsible for producing Waiting to Exhale 2 has announced the sequel will continue despite Houston's death.

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