Whitney Houston Dead at 48 (Kalie Gipson)

On Saturday, February 11th, the music world lost an iconic legend. Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead underwater in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. There were no signs of foul play and no immediate cause of death could be identified.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends,” stated Houston’s family through her publicist.

Investigators reportedly found several prescription drugs in her hotel room, including Xanax, but toxicology reports will take weeks to confirm whether these substances played a part in Houston’s death. Further details of her death are not being released to protect anonymity. She was poised to appear at a pre-Grammy party hosted by Clive Davis. The Los Angeles Times reported that Houston was seen acting strangely and erratically the days leading up to her death.

Houston’s rise to fame has been well-documented and her relationship with New Edition singer Bobby Brown has been rooted into popular culture. After her marriage to Brown in 1992, the couple consistently made headlines until their divorce in 2007.

It is no secret that Houston and Brown struggled with drug and alcohol addictions throughout their careers. Houston has admitted to smoking marijuana laced with cocaine and drinking heavy amounts of alcohol.  Brown was arrested multiple times over the years for DUI and was emotionally abusive towards Houston. Brown skipped a New Edition performance in Nashville to be with their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who was hospitalized for stress and anxiety and released.

“I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time,” Brown said Sunday.

Music sales have skyrocketed since her death. The Monday following, her cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was number one on the iTunes charts, followed by “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “The Greatest Love of All.” Her greatest hits album and the “Ultimate Collection” album were first and second on the Amazon top 10 albums chart.

Her music powered through the 80’s and 90’s and she seemed prepped for a comeback in 2012. Her death could not have come at a more unfortunate time, being found on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Consequently, the awards show was dedicated to Houston. Following Bruce Springsteen’s opening performance, rapper and host LL Cool J said a prayer for the pop singer, and Jennifer Hudson closed the show with a tribute rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” The television show Glee dedicated their Valentine’s Day episode to the songstress, and many more dedications are sure to spring up.

Regardless of her turbulent lifestyle, Whitney Houston was a musical legend and is widely considered a pop icon. She has won 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She has sold over 170 million albums worldwide.



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