American pop queen Whitney Houston has died at age 48. The six-time Grammy Awards winner was found dead at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, where reports say she was most likely due to attend the annual Clive Davis Grammy party being held at the hotel.
The legendary best-selling artist began performing at the tender age of 11 in churches in her hometown of New Jersey and rose to fame in the 80s.
Inspired by music greats, including her mother Cissy Houston and cousins Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick, as well as her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston became one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, garnering several prestigious awards.
Her popularity soared in the 1980s and 1990s with back-to-back number 1 hits, including smash hit “I Will Always Love You” from the soundtrack of the feature film “The Bodyguard”, for which she won the record of the year Grammy.
Houston was married to R&B singer Bobby Brown in 1992 and the two gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Christina Brown a year later. The pop diva’s high life in the spotlight was not without some low moments. She suffered from years of drug abuse.
In a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the star admitted that by the time her movie “The Preacher’s Wife” was released, doing drugs had become an “everyday thing… I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day.”
Her once pristine image was marred with wild public displays as her relationship with drugs worsened. There were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs and public meltdowns.
The bright star deemed and record sales plummeted. Her crude behaviour, startlingly thin silhouette and jittery appearance on Brown’s reality show, Being Bobby Brown showed just how far the star had fallen.
Speaking to Winfrey in the candid interview, Houston blamed her turbulent marriage to R&B husband Brown for her reliance on drugs.
“I wasn’t happy by that point in time. I was losing myself,” the star singer said. Whitney and Bobby divorced in 2007.
After years out of the spotlight, Houston staged a somewhat successful comeback with her 2009 album, “I Look To You”.
But the comeback was short lived as some speculated that the star had once again relapsed into drug use.
A concert to promote the singer’s new album, which debuted on the top of the charts and eventually went platinum, had gone south when Houston’s once flawless voice hit all the wrong notes.
During a world tour launched overseas, the star’s ragged vocals failed to impress once enthralled fans. Some even walked out.
The star appeared to be battling past demons again, but she denied allegations that she was back on drugs, maintaining that she was in great shape.
It is still unclear what snuffed the life out of the bright star.
Ex Bobby Brown, who had been on tour with his New Edition band mates for the past few months, was in Mississippi when he got news of Whitney’s passing.
Source say Brown was saddened by the news and was “in and out of crying fits”. Bobby had reportedly started teh show by pointing to the sky, saying “I love you”.
Fellow musicians and fans mourned the pop diva. Jennifer Hudson is set to perform a tribute to Whitney Houston tonight at the 84th edition of the Grammy Awards.