Singer Whitney Houston h?? died ?t age 48, publicist Kristen Foster s?y?. Sources sa?d Houston died ?t th? Beverly Hilton hotel ?n Los Angeles th?? afternoon, US entertainment news site TMZ reports. A police crime lab vehicle h?s b?en photographed out?ide th? hotel. The singer w?? filmed leaving ? restaurant ?n LA ju?t l??t weekend w?th h?r on-again off-again boyfriend Ray-J.
Whitney Houston, wh? ruled a? pop music's queen unt?l h?r majestic voice ?nd regal image wer? ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior ?nd ? tumultuous marriage t? singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She wa? 48.
Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen told reporters out?id? th? Beverly Hilton th?t Houston w?s pronounced dead ?t 3:55 p.m. ?n h?r ro?m ?n th? fourth floor ?f th? hotel. Her body remained ther? ?nd Beverly Hills detectives w?re investigating.
"There w?re n? obvious signs ?f ?ny criminal intent ?t thi? time," Rosen sa?d.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, s??d Saturday th?t th? c?us? ?f h?r death w?? unknown.
Rosen s??d police received ? 911 call fr?m hotel security ab?ut Houston ?t 3:43 p.m. Saturday. Paramedics wh? w?re alr??dy ?t th? hotel b?c?use ?f ? Grammy party unsuccessfully tr??d t? resuscitate th? singer, h? sa?d.
Beverly Hills Police Department lat?r issued ? statement:""Whitney Houston wa? pronounced dead th?t th? scene by member? ?f h?r entourage wh?ch included friends, co-workers, ?nd family. Ms. Houston's daughter ?nd mother wer? notified ?f h?re death."
The statement al?o added th?t "the investigation i? curr?ntly be?ng conducted" ?nd th?t "there i? n? additional information ?t th?? time."
"The actual c?use ?f death w?ll b? determined by th? L.A. Co. Coroner's Office," it s?id.
Houston's death c?m? ?n th? eve ?f music's biggest night -- th? Grammy Awards. It's ? showcase wh?re sh? onc? reigned, ?nd h?r death w?? sur? t? cast ? heavy pall ?n Sunday's ceremony.
Her longtime mentor Clive Davis wa? t? hold h?? annual concert ?nd dinner Saturday, ?nd ? representative ?f th? sh?w s?id it w?uld proceed.
Houston wa? supposed t? app?ar ?t th? gala, ?nd Davis h?d told The Associated Press th?t sh? w?uld p?rhap? perform: "It's h?r favorite night ?f th? y??r ... (so) wh? kn?ws by th? end ?f th? evening," h? sa?d.
Producer Jimmy Jam, wh? h?d w?rk?d w?th Houston, s??d h? anticipated th? evening w?uld b?com? ? tribute t? her, ?nd h? expected th?re t? b? on? ?t th? Grammys a? w?ll.
Houston h?d be?n ?t rehearsals f?r th? sh?w Thursday, coaching singers Brandy ?nd Monica, acc?rding t? ? person wh? w?? ?t th? event but wa? n?t authorized t? speak publicly ab?ut it. The person sa?d Houston looked disheveled, wa? sweating profusely ?nd liquor ?nd cigarettes c?uld b? smelled ?n h?r breath.
Two days ago, sh? performed ?t ? pre-Grammy party w?th singer Kelly Price. Singer Kenny Lattimore hosted th? event, ?nd s??d Houston sang th? gospel classic "Jesus Loves Me" w?th Price, h?r voice registering softly, n?t w?th th? s?m? power it h?d ?t it? height.
Lattimore s?id Houston w?? gregarious ?nd wa? ?n ? g??d mood, surrounded by friends ?nd family, including daughter Bobbi Kristina.
"She ju?t s?emed l?k? sh? w?s h?v?ng ? gr??t night th?t night," s??d Lattimore, wh? s?id h? w?? ?n shock ov?r h?r death.
"I ju?t can't talk ab?ut it now," Houston's godmother, Aretha Franklin, s?id ?n ? short statement. "It's s? stunning ?nd unbelievable. ? couldn't beli?v? wh?t ? w?? reading coming acros? th? TV screen."
The Rev. Al Sharpton sa?d h? w?uld call f?r ? national prayer Sunday morning dur?ng ? service ?t Second Baptist Church ?n Los Angeles.
"The morning ?f th? Grammys, th? world sh?uld pause ?nd pray f?r th? memory ?f ? gifted songbird," Sharpton sa?d ?n ? written statement.
In ? statement, Recording Academy President ?nd CEO Neil Portnow sa?d Houston "was on? ?f th? world's gre?test pop singers ?f ?ll time wh? leaves beh?nd ? robust musical soundtrack spanning th? pa?t thr?e decades."
"Her powerful voice graced m?ny memorable ?nd award-winning songs," Portnow s?id. "A light h?? be?n dimmed ?n our music community today, ?nd w? extend our deepest condolences t? h?r family, friends, fans ?nd ?ll wh? h?ve b??n touched by h?r beautiful voice."
At h?r peak, Houston w?s th? golden girl ?f th? music industry. From th? middle 1980s t? th? late 1990s, sh? w?? on? ?f th? world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences w?th effortless, powerful, ?nd peerless vocals th?t wer? rooted ?n th? black church but m?d? palatable t? th? masses w?th ? pop sheen.
Her success carried h?r b?y?nd music t? movies, wh?r? sh? starred ?n hits l?ke "The Bodyguard" ?nd "Waiting t? Exhale."
She h?d th? perfect voice ?nd th? perfect image: ? gorgeous singer wh? h?d sex appeal but w?? nev?r overtly sexual, wh? maintained perfect poise.
She influenced ? generation ?f y?unger singers, fr?m Christina Aguilera t? Mariah Carey, wh? wh?n sh? fir?t cam? out sounded s? much lik? Houston th?t m?ny th?ught it w?? Houston.
But by th? end ?f h?r career, Houston b?came ? stunning cautionary tale ?f th? toll ?f drug us?. Her album sales plummeted ?nd th? hits stopped coming; h?r onc? serene image wa? shattered by ? wild demeanor ?nd bizarre public appearances. She confessed t? abusing cocaine, marijuana ?nd pills, ?nd h?r onc? pristine voice b?cam? raspy ?nd hoarse, unable t? hit th? h?gh notes a? sh? h?d dur?ng h?r prime.
"The biggest devil i? m?. I'm e?th?r my b??t friend ?r my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer ?n ?n infamous 2002 interview w?th then-husband Brown by h?r sid?.
It wa? ? tragic fall f?r ? superstar wh? wa? on? ?f th? top-selling artists ?n pop music history, w?th m?r? th?n 55 million records sold ?n th? United States al?ne.
She se?med t? b? born int? greatness. She w?? th? daughter ?f gospel singer Cissy Houston, th? cousin ?f 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick ?nd th? goddaughter ?f Aretha Franklin.
Houston f?r?t started singing ?n th? church a? ? child. In h?r teens, sh? sang backup f?r Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson ?nd others, ?n addition t? modeling. It w?s ar?und th?t time wh?n music mogul Clive Davis fir?t heard Houston perform.
"The time th?t ? fir?t s?w h?r singing ?n h?r mother's act ?n ? club ... it wa? such ? stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."
"To hear thi? y?ung girl breathe such fire int? th?s song. ? mean, it r?ally s?nt th? proverbial tingles up my spine," h? added.
Before long, th? re?t ?f th? country w?uld feel it, t??. Houston m?de h?r album debut ?n 1985 w?th "Whitney Houston," wh?ch sold millions ?nd spawned hit aft?r hit. "Saving All My Love f?r You" brought h?r h?r fir?t Grammy, f?r b?st female pop vocal. "How Will ? Know," "You Give Good Love" ?nd "The Greatest Love ?f All" al?o b?came hit singles.
Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," c?m? out ?n 1987 ?nd included hits l?ke "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" ?nd "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
The New York Times wrote th?t Houston "possesses on? ?f h?r generation's m??t powerful gospel-trained voices, but sh? eschews m?ny ?f th? churchier mannerisms ?f h?r forerunners. She us?? ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, ?nd inste?d ?f projecting ?n earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance ?nd strength, building pop ballads t? majestic, sustained peaks ?f intensity."
Her decision n?t t? follow th? m?re soulful inflections ?f singers l?ke Franklin drew criticism by som? wh? s?w h?r a? playing d?wn h?r black roots t? g? pop ?nd reach white audiences. The criticism w?uld b?com? ? constant refrain thr?ugh much ?f h?r career. She wa? ev?n booed dur?ng th? "Soul Train Awards" ?n 1989.
"Sometimes it get? d?wn t? that, y?u know?" sh? told Katie Couric ?n 1996. "You're n?t black en?ugh f?r th?m. ? don't kn?w. You're n?t R&B en?ugh. You're v?ry pop. The white audience ha? tak?n y?u aw?y fr?m th?m."
Some s?w h?r 1992 marriage t? f?rmer New Edition m?mber ?nd soul crooner Bobby Brown a? ?n attempt t? refute th??e critics. It se?m?d t? b? ?n odd union; sh? w?s s?en a? pop's pure princess wh?l? h? h?d ? bad-boy image, ?nd alre?dy h?d children ?f h?? own. (The couple h?d ? daughter, Bobbi Kristina, ?n 1993.) Over th? years, h? w?uld b? arrested s?veral times, ?n charges ranging fr?m DUI t? failure t? pay child support.
But Houston sa?d th??r true personalities w?r? n?t a? f?r ap?rt a? people m?y h?ve believed.
"When y?u love, y?u love. ? mean, d? y?u stop loving s?m?body b?c?use y?u hav? diff?rent images? You know, Bobby ?nd ? basically c?m? fr?m th? s?me place," sh? told Rolling Stone ?n 1993. "You s?? somebody, ?nd y?u deal w?th th??r image, that's th??r image. It's p?rt ?f them, it's n?t th? whol? picture. ? ?m n?t alway? ?n ? sequined gown. ? ?m nobody's angel. ? c?n g?t d?wn ?nd dirty. ? c?n g?t raunchy."
Brown w?s g?tting ready t? perform ?t ? New Edition reunion tour ?n Southaven, Miss., a? news spread ab?ut Houston's death Saturday evening.
The gr?up w?nt ahe?d w?th it? performance, but Brown acknowledged th?t it w?s difficult.
He told th? sell-out crowd: "First ?f all, ? w?nt t? t?ll y?u th?t ? love y?u ?ll. Second, ? w?uld l?ke t? say, ? love y?u Whitney. The hardest th?ng f?r m? t? d? i? t? c?me ?n thi? stage."
Brown sa?d h? decided t? perform b?cause fans h?d shown the?r loyalty t? th? gr?up f?r m?r? th?n 25 y?ar?. During ?n intermission, on? ?f Houston's e?rly hits, "You Give Good Love," played ov?r th? speakers. Fans stood up ?nd beg?n singing al?ng w?th th? song.
It w?uld t?k? s?ver?l years, however, f?r th? public t? s?? th?t s?d? ?f Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition ?f "The Star Spangled Banner" ?t th? Super Bowl, am?d th? f?rst Gulf War, set ? n?w standard ?nd onc? aga?n reaffirmed h?r a? America's sweetheart.
In 1992, sh? bec?m? ? star ?n th? acting world w?th "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, th? story ?f ? singer (Houston) guarded by ? form?r Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) w?s ?n international success.
It al?o g?v? h?r perh?p? h?r mo?t memorable hit: ? searing, stunning rendition ?f Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," wh?ch sat atop th? charts f?r weeks. It wa? Grammy's record ?f th? ye?r ?nd b?st female pop vocal, ?nd th? "Bodyguard" soundtrack w?s named album ?f th? ye?r.
She returned t? th? b?g screen ?n 1995-96 w?th "Waiting t? Exhale" ?nd "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, ?nd an?th?r hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," ?n 1998, brought h?r ? Grammy f?r b??t female R&B vocal f?r th? cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."
But dur?ng the?? career ?nd personal highs, Houston w?s u?ing drugs. In ?n interview w?th Oprah Winfrey ?n 2010, sh? s?id by th? time "The Preacher's Wife" wa? released, "(doing drugs) wa? ?n everyday th?ng. ... ? w?uld d? my work, but aft?r ? d?d my work, f?r ? whol? ye?r ?r two, it wa? ev?ry day. ... ? wasn't happy by th?t p?int ?n time. ? w?? losing mys?lf."
In th? interview, Houston blamed h?r rocky marriage t? Brown, wh?ch included ? charge ?f domestic abuse ag?in?t Brown ?n 1993. They divorced ?n 2007.
Houston w?uld g? t? rehab tw?c? b?for? sh? w?uld declare her?elf drug-free t? Winfrey ?n 2010. But ?n th? interim, th?re w?r? missed concert dates, ? stop ?t ?n airport due t? drugs, ?nd public meltdowns.
She wa? s? startlingly thin dur?ng ? 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert th?t rumors spread sh? h?d died th? n?xt day. Her crude behavior ?nd jittery appearance ?n Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," w?? ?n ex?mpl? ?f h?r sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, wh?re sh? declared "crack i? whack," w?s oft?n parodied. She dropped out ?f th? spotlight f?r ? f?w y?ar?.
Houston staged wh?t s?em?d t? b? ? successful comeback w?th th? 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted ?n th? top ?f th? charts, ?nd w?uld eventually g? platinum.
Things s?on fell ap?rt. A concert t? promote th? album ?n "Good Morning America" w?nt awry a? Houston's voice sounded ragged ?nd off-key. She blamed ?n interview w?th Winfrey f?r straining h?r voice.
A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions th?t Houston h?d lost h?r treasured gift, a? sh? failed t? hit notes ?nd left m?ny fans unimpressed; s?m? walked out. Canceled concert dates raised speculation th?t sh? m?y hav? b?en abusing drugs, but sh? denied thos? claims ?nd s??d sh? w?? ?n gr??t shape, blaming illness f?r cancellations.