Soul legend Chaka Khan is convinced her tragic pal Whitney Houston could have been saved by a visit to a throat specialist because losing her voice "killed" the singer.
Khan experienced vocal problems in the 1980s - due in part to drug taking, smoking and drinking - and she feared she had lost the ability to hit the high notes.
A specialist eventually discovered polyps in her throat and when they were removed, the I Feel For You singer was back at her best.
She recalls, "When I did not know what my diagnosis was, I just thought I was losing my voice. I couldn't hit any high notes, I had a lot of troubles with low notes... I started actually considering, 'What else can I do for a living?' I was devastated.
"I went to some specialists... and when the polyp was removed, I got my full range back."
Khan is adamant Houston's problems could have been resolved by a visit to the doctor.
Appearing on CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight, she adds, "I think that with Whitney, it would have probably been... a very similar scenario... She probably got a few polyps on there (throat)."
But, convinced she was losing her golden voice - as was evident at her final concerts - Houston turned to drink and drugs to numb the pain of a failing career and a lost talent.
Khan explains, "It (must have) killed her... The last time I saw her was at my gig with Prince here in L.A. on May 5 (11) and when I was singing I saw her in the audience... and I could see in her eyes she just wanted to sing. All we wanna do is sing.
"I just told her, 'Come on up, let's do something'. I just said, 'Forget about the song... Do what you want'."
Houston was found dead in her hotel room in Los Angeles on Saturday (11Feb12).