Whitney Houston's sudden death on the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards was on the tip of everyone's tongue on Sunday night (February 12), including three-time Grammy nominee Fergie, who opened up to MTV News about the late icon's profound influence on her career.

"Whitney was such an inspiration to me ever since I was a little girl," the pop songstress told our own Sway Calloway. "I used to watch the Grammys and I used to watch her walk up on that stage. She would belt out a song with such confidence, and I'd just dream that I could be on that stage like Whitney. She was a role model for me. She was an icon."

Dressed in an orange partially see-through Jean Paul Gaultier dress, the BEP songstress said of her ensemble, "I'm making Whitney proud. Loud and proud."

Just before breaking into an impromptu a cappella version of Houston's "How Will I Know," Fergie mentioned that she performed the late icon's music when she appeared on the 1980s children's TV show "Kids Incorporated."

Fergie also took home two Grammy Awards for her Kanye West collaboration "All of the Lights." "It's crazy. My mom and I were screaming in the car," she said of her wins.

Copyright : MTV.com