Singer Credits Whitney Houston for Success

LAS VEGAS -- Whitney Houston's death has had a deep impact on some in the Las Vegas entertainment community. One local singer received her personal inspiration from Houston.

Cheaza Figueroa is a rising star, singing at Planet Hollywood. She comes from a family of singers, but she can trace her creative roots back to an early conversation she had with Whitney Houston.

Cheaza, as she goes by on stage, is a lead singer at Holly Madison's Peepshow in Planet Hollywood. She traces her creative growth to the songs she heard Houston sing. She never knew Houston well, but a meeting Cheaza had with the singer in Hawaii inspired the local performer.

"She said, 'You know what, keep going. You've got a career ahead of you. Never stop dreaming,'" she said. "How many of us really get to get that close to our idols? She was truly an idol for me."

Cheaza and Houston met once again at the Grammy Awards. She credits Houston's genuine emotion during performances as her most important professional lesson.

Despite Houston's personal troubles, it's not hard to see just what legacy she leaves behind for local singers when it simply comes to vocal range and stage presence.


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