Whitney Houston songwriter Michael Masser dies aged 74

Michael Masser wrote 'The Greatest Love of All' which was a hit for Whitney Houston Credit: PA

Michael Masser, the famed songwriter and producer who penned hits for stars Whitney Houston and Diana Ross has died aged 75, Billboard reports.

His songs included "The Greatest Love of All" - which was originally recorded by George Benson and later covered by Houston - and "Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You" by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson.

He also co-wrote other hits for Whitney Houston such as "Saving All My Love" and "Didn't We Almost Have It All."

Masser also co-wrote and co-produced Ross' "Touch Me In the Morning," and "Theme from 'Mahogany' (Do You Know Where You're Going To?) which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

He had further success as a songwriter/producer into the 1990s and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

On hearing the news of Masser's death, Diana Ross took to Twitter to pay tribute to the man who wrote "beautiful songs".