Singer and actress Whitney Houston, who lent her voice to such hits as “I Will Always Love You,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “Saving All My Love for You,” was found dead on Saturday, February 11, in a room at the Beverly Hills hotel where she was scheduled to perform at a pre–Grammy Awards party held by record mogul and mentor Clive Davis later that evening. Houston was 48.

According to the report on Reuters.com, emergency services were called to the Beverly Hilton at around 3:20 PM PST, and Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 PM.

Houston has had decades in the music industry, winning 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Awards, and 22 American Music Awards; her powerhouse voice earned her the title of diva, and many of her hit songs are recognizable the world over, particularly her signature hit, “I Will Always Love You,” which was featured on the soundtrack of one of her iconic movies, The Bodyguard. However, in the past 10 years, her life has been filled with reports of drug abuse and rumors of regular rehab and relapse cycles. Her 14-year marriage to singer Bobby Brown were punctuated by reports of drug use and domestic violence.

Despite her troubled life, however, Houston continued to command respect and affection in the music industry and among her fans.

Houston’s godmother, Aretha Franklin, was quoted as saying, “I just can't talk about it now. It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby (Brown).”

And the news of the singer’s death has affected many others in the industry.

Houston’s friend and fellow diva Mariah Carey tweeted that she was “heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston.” Carey offered her “heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world.” She then went on to tweet that “she will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.”

“No words! Just tears #DearWhitney,” pop star Rihanna tweeted. She later tweeted, “I honestly can’t think of anything else!!!” And then, “Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!”

Teen pop idol Justin Bieber also tweeted upon hearing the news: “Just heard the news. So crazy. One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and family.”

Rapper and singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj also tweeted, “Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time,” followed by a TwitPic featuring Houston and the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

As per the report on Reuters.com, the cause of the singer’s death is still under investigation, but the police have said that “there were no obvious signs of criminal intent.”


(Photo by Asterio Tecson via Flickr Creative Commons)

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