Whitney Houston, the gospel-inspired pop singer who sold more than 140 million albums with her emotive renditions of such hits as “Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You,” and who struggled with drug abuse and a troubled marriage, died Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills, California. She was 48.
Her publicist, Kristen Foster, broke the news of Houston’s passing.
“I can confirm that Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. We received a call at 3:43 p.m. from hotel security and Beverly Hills fire and police responded minutes later,” Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen said.
He added: “Someone in her entourage found her unresponsive in her room … It’s unclear who notified hotel staff because she has quite an entourage here at the hotel. We attempted to resuscitate her, to no avail.” .
Whitney Houston was due to perform at music mogul Clive Davis‘s annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel just hours before her tragic death.
Houston’s only child, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was taken by paramedics from the hotel to nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday suffering from anxiety.
Whitney Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown had also been taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles Sunday morning, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed.
The R&B star blamed by many for Whitney’s drugs demise — declared his love for her as he broke down on stage while performing in Mississippi.
Earlier this week, the six-time Grammy winner was spotted having a night out on the town in L.A. at “Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For The Love Of R&B Grammy Party” at Tru Hollywood.
Whitney Houston – inspired by soul singers in her New Jersey family, including mother Cissy Houston and cousins Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick, as well as her godmother Aretha Franklin – became one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, taking multiple Emmy, Grammy and Billboard Music awards.
She began singing in church as a child before making her album debut in 1985.
Her popularity soared in the 1980s and 1990s with consecutive number one hits including The Greatest Love Of All, Saving All My Love For You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and her searing rendition of Dolly Parton‘s I Will Always Love You, which featured on the soundtrack of feature film The Bodyguard, in which Houston also starred alongside Kevin Costner.
The soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy for album of the year and I Will Always Love You was named record of the year.
Houston won a total of six Grammys during her career.
Her album entitled “Whitney” was the first female recording to debut at number one on the Billboard charts.
Once the golden girl of music, Houston sold more than 170 million albums worldwide.
But her public image was shattered thanks to a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown. She also battled drug addiction for many years, which ravaged her once celebrated voice.
The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993 before divorcing in 2007.