Elton John, Mariah Carey Pay Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

 D Dipasupil/FilmMagic; Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

As Elizabeth Taylor's family arranges for a private funeral to take place later this week, her celebrity friends and admirers are paying their respects to the legendary actress, who died in L.A. Wednesday at the age of 79.

"We have just lost a Hollywood giant," close friend Elton John, 63, told CNN in a statement. "More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."

(John and Taylor have both been tireless advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness.)

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Adds pregnant songbird Mariah Carey, 41: "R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor an incomparable legend who will live forever."

"Elizabeth Taylor was an impactful person in this industry and on society as a whole. I specifically admire her charitable efforts including bringing early awareness to HIV/AIDS," Tito Jackson, 57, tells UsMagazine.com in a statement. "Most memorable is her steadfast loyalty and unwavering friendship to my late brother Michael Jackson. Liz provided a sense of relief and comfort to my brother at various difficult times in his life, and I appreciate that, may she rest in peace."

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"Sad to hear of Elizabeth Taylor's death," Joan Rivers, 77, tweeted. "She was the first major celebrity to join me in the fight against AIDS when it wasn't a popular cause."

"It's a terrible loss," Martin Laundau, 82 — who costarred with Taylor in Cleopatra — tells Us in a statement. "A unique talent and a singularly spectacular individual."

"Elizabeth, thank you for the lessons you taught me about life, suffering and joy," Kirstie Alley, 60, wrote. "You are the BRIGHTEST STAR in the universe. Eternal love."

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"I am so saddened about the passing of Elizabeth Taylor!" 30-year-old reality star Kim Kardashian — who posed as Taylor in a recent issue of Harper's Bazaarmourned. "She will always be my idol!"

"Elizabeth was the last great movie star. And a great human being. What I'll always remember about Elizabeth was her laugh. She would walk into a room looking like a princess and suddenly there would be this cackle that filled the room that would crack us all up," Barry Manilow, 67, tells Us in a statement. "I'm so glad to have known her. It's a very sad day for me."

Rose McGowan, 37, was equally shocked by the news of Taylor's passing. "I am devastated," she tweeted. "The Queen has died. Her talent, beauty, dedication to curing AIDS, love of love and her violet eyes will live on."

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"Rest in peace Elizabeth Taylor," Denise Richards, 40, tweeted. "Thoughts and prayers to your family and loved ones. You will be missed."

"Rest in peace, Elizabeth Taylor," mom-to-be Alyssa Milano, 38, tweeted. "You are a prism & will live on through all the good you did while you were with us."

"We have lost an amazing talent and beautiful soul!" Melissa Joan Hart, 34, added. "RIP Elizabeth Taylor."

"It's the end of an era. It wasn't just her beauty or her stardom. It was  her humanitarianism," Barbra Streisand, 68, tells Us in a statement. "She put a face on HIV/AIDS. She was funny. She was generous.She made her life count."

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"A legendary woman has left us today," Kourtney Kardashian, 31, tweeted. "The world will not be the same without her beauty, glamour, generosity and gift of giving."

"National Velvet, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: so many memories of a Hollywood icon. Happy she was with her family," Katie Couric, 54, told her followers. "Important point I omitted: she was an extraordinary humanitarian and did so much for aids awareness; perhaps her greatest legacy."

"OMG RIP Elizabeth Taylor!A woman who did HER at all times!" Taraji P. Henson, 40, tweeted. "Rest with the Angels!"

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"Such a sad day when a legend like Elizabeth Taylor passes away," Bethenny Frankel, 40, wrote. "Fitting that it's gloomy and rainy in New York. A place of sadness."

"RIP to the glamour goddess Elizabeth Taylor," Khloe Kardashian, 26, tweeted. "Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for the memories."

"With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, America has lost one of its greatest talents and fiercest advocates for HIV/AIDS research. Born in England, Elizabeth became thoroughly American royalty. For more than a generation, she brought to life unforgettable characters on film, and her tireless efforts to combat AIDS brought hope to millions of people around the world. We were honored to host her at the White House in 2001 when she received the Presidential Citizens Medal for her relentless crusade for more AIDS research and better care," President Bill Clinton, 64, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, 63, tell Us in a statement. "In founding amfAR, she raised both millions of dollars and our level of awareness about the impact of AIDS in the United States and around the world. Elizabeth's legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired. Our thoughts are with her family, her friends, and her many fans. We will miss her talent, her heart, and her friendship."

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