Leading the tributes to the star today, the Syco boss revealed he was eyeing up the singer for the new series of the US version of the show.
He told CNN: "We were ironically going to meet on Monday and of course one of the names we were going to be talking about in that meeting as a possible mentor on the new series of X Factor was actually going to be Whitney Houston.
[Related article: Whitney Houston dies aged 48]
[Related article: Stars pay tribute to Whitney Houston]
"I have no idea genuinely whether she really was that interested or whether she would have.
"Given the choice, I would have liked to have taken her under my wing as well, because she would have been the ultimate, ultimate mentor to any contestant coming on the show."
Simon paid tribute to the 48-year-old telling Sky she had "issues": 'There are always moments in your life that are horrible to remember. The day John Lennon died, the day Elvis died.
"More recently Michael Jackson, last year Amy Winehouse and now Whitney. I know quite a few people who had been working with her over the years. We all knew Whitney had issues.
[Related feature: Whitney Houston tribute photo gallery]
"I last met her when she came on the X Factor. You could see at the time there were still a few problems but she was a delight to work with on the day.
"She probably wasn't all together but it was still Whitney Houston and you were in the presence of a legend and I will never forget that day.
"Whitney was a true diva, but I use that in the nicest possible way. She had one of the best voices I heard in my life ever."
Today he posted on his Twitter account: "am so sad to hear about Whitney. We have lost one of the greatest singers of all time."