Pop legend Whitney Houston dead

Los Angeles, Feb 12 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) Countless fans of her music across the world were shocked as many woke up to the sad news that queen of pop and six time winner of Grammy Whitney Houston is no more. She died on Saturday at a hotel in Beverly Hills at age 48 on the eve of Grammy Awards.

Police said she died at 3: 55 pm after efforts to revive her failed. She was found in an unconscious state at the Beverly Hilton hotel in a room on the fourth floor and emergency services was alerted.

“There was no obvious signs of criminal intent,” said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen. However, the cause of her death is being probed.

The hotel in which she died was to be the scene of an annual pre-Grammy party hosted by music industry leader Clive Davis, who discovered Whitney Houston, media reports said.

Whitney’s fairy tale singing career was however rocked by drug abuse and her tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown- which was fodder for tabloid press- that ended in divorce after 14 years.

She had been to rehabilitation homes for drugs and had admitted using marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs.

Her list of honours includes two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010.

Houston was also one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide.

Houston often had performed since 11 at church choirs and as a teenager with her mother Cissy in nightclubs. In was around 1985-86 that she shot into big fame.

With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden, Houston’s debut album Whitney Houston was released in February 1985. Rolling Stone magazine praised Houston, calling her “one of the most exciting new voices in years” while The New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent.” Arista Records promoted Houston’s album with three different singles from the album in the US, UK and other European countries.

Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987 and the album’s first single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” was also a massive hit worldwide.

She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown around 1989 and after a three year courtship, the two were married on July 18, 1992. Nearly a year later, Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, her first and only child.

But Brown would go on to have several run-ins with the law, including some jail time.

Whitney had acted in the 1992 Hollywood film The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner playing a singer with a life threat from a stalker.

Performances in the film include her singing hits such as “I Will Always Love You” and “I Have Nothing”. “I Will Always Love You” won the record of the year at Grammy.

Reactions are pouring in as the news spread.

“Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth,” said Mariah Carey.

Singer Rihanna tweeted: “No words! Just tears #DearWhitney.”

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