Whitney Houston 1963-2012
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Cause of death not immediately known.
Whitney Houston dead at age 48, the world mourns.
Cousin to Dianne Warwick and who's godmother is Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston came from a powerful family of female soul singers. In 1992 Houston starred in what was to be her first feature film role in "The Bodyguard", the movie's soundtrack winning an Grammy Award in 1994. Whitney continued to star in a string of hit films, including the 1994 smash hit, "Waiting to Exhale" and in 1996, "The Preacher's Wife." Throughout her career, Whitney has continued to belt out songs that topped the charts. According to Wikipedia, Whitney has had "seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits ("Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go").
Throughout her early years Whitney maintained a picture perfect squeaky clean image, until she met and married Bobby Brown in 1990's. After which, Whitney became more known in the media for her awkward displays of affection with Bobby Brown in public and her whacky video tapped family trip to Israel. Whitney later divorced Bobby Brown and became more focused on her career. It was in 2006 that Whitney tried to make a comeback and was widely received by her loyal fans and new younger audiences as well. Funeral arrangements and cause of death have not yet been made public. She is survived by her loving family.
FROM THE WIRE(s): As of 10:12 pm EST
Legendary pop singer Whitney Houston was found dead Saturday at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel, officials said. She was 48.
The entertainer, whose incredible talent was discovered at an early age, was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. (6:55 p.m. ET) at the Beverly Hilton despite resuscitation efforts, a police spokesman said.
Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent" and that the cause of her death is being investigated.
Houston's bodyguard found her body, said Courtney Barnes, publicist for hip-hop artist Ray J, who was dating the pop diva.
According to her official website, Houston sold more than 170 million albums, singles and videos. But she also struggled with addiction problems over the years.
Houston died on the eve of the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Music producer Jimmy Jam, after conversations with those heading up to Sunday's night show, told CNN that he believes the event will change significantly -- including a tribute to the singer.
Houston was set to appear in this year's "Sparkle," a remake of the 1976 hit, which was loosely based on the story of The Supremes. It was her first movie role since 1996's "The Preacher's Wife."
News of her death elicited a flood of reaction on social media, from fans and fellow celebrities alike.
Music producer Russell Simmons wrote he was "deeply saddened by the death of Whitney Houston."
Dolly Parton, who wrote "I Will Always Love You, said, "mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, 'Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.'"
Another entertainment legend, Quincy Jones, said he was "absolutely heartbroken" by the news. "She was a true original and a talent beyond compare," he said.
Houston's body of work includes seven straight Billboard No. 1 hits in the 1980s, including "Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me.)"
Billboard put her soundtrack to the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard" as one of the top 10 biggest-selling albums of all time. She also starred in the film with Kevin Costner. The soundtrack included the hit,"I Will Always Love You."
The daughter of singer Cissy Houston, Whitney was born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey. Famed music producer Clive Davis reportedly spotted Houston 20 years later in a New York nightclub, signing her on the spot, according to her website. Davis steered Houston's career for more than 25 years, also serving as a mentor.
The singer's rendition of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl, days into the first Persian Gulf War, earned raves and cemented her place in the American musical landscape.
After "The Bodyguard," Houston went on to appear in several more films in the 1990s, including "Waiting to Exhale."
In 2000, Houston earned her sixth Grammy for best female R&B performance and, a month later, she was named female artist of the decade at the "Soul Train" Music Awards.
Her career stalled, however, in subsequent years as she entered rehab for addiction problems.
In May 2011, Houston got help for her much-publicized struggle with drugs and alcohol, her representative said at the time.
In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston recalled how her mother arrived one day at her doorstep at her daughter's house with sheriff's officers and a court order in a drug intervention. She talked about doing cocaine and smoking marijuana.
"(My mother) says, 'I have a court (injunction) here," Houston said. "Either you do it my way, or we're just not going to do this at all. We are both going to go on TV, and you're going to retire.'"
Houston had a high-profile and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, a former "New Edition" star who has had multiple brushes with the law. The couple appeared together in the mid-2000s on the reality show "Being Bobby Brown." They had one child together, Bobbi Kristina.
Houston was the cousin of Dionne Warwick, another acclaimed performer.
Jen Gordon, Contributing Writer: Born an intellectual artist in Los Angeles, Ca. Studied at the School of Life & Times of the World. Works as a Freelance Writer in Los Angeles / New York. Contributing Writer for AND Magazine. Works in Television, Editorial, Film, Music & Stage. Author of the upcoming non fiction book: A Female Predator (Circle Analytics Publishing House 2011) Aside from writing and producing Jen is a song writer, jazz vocalist and photographer. (more...)