Singing great Whitney Houston "really wanted to marry" Michael Jackson, according to their friend David Gest.
The music producer was a close confidant of both the late stars, and he believes Whitney - who was laid to rest in New Jersey on Sunday - would have liked to have hooked up with the Thriller singer, but he was "too shy" to make a move on her.
He said the pair once kissed, but that's as far as it went between the two.
"She really loved Michael and he adored her. Michael told me they once shared a passionate kiss, and she told me she was at one time very much in love with him.
"I think she really wanted to marry him, but although he had a crush on her, he was too shy.
"Later, he confessed to me he should have made every move. If they had got together, I believe Whitney would not have done drugs or become a semi-recluse."
Houston was married once to Bobby Brown, while Jackson married twice, to Lisa Marie Presley and Deborah Jeanne Rowe.
Gest - who was previously married to Liza Minnelli - saw Whitney perform in Copenhagen, Denmark, last year and he was reduced to tears by the fact she could no longer hold the notes she used to.
David - who interviewed the music legend for his acclaimed documentary Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon - added in an interview with The Sun newspaper: "When we met last year, it was at her concert in Copenhagen and it was the saddest performance I had ever seen her give.
"Tears came to my eyes as she just couldn't hold her notes. I actually walked out after four songs, had a sob then came back to watch the rest of the show. My heart was bleeding for her."
- BANG! Showbiz