Whitney Houston the prolific pop diva has been dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room on Saturday night. She was 48.
With a history of drug abuse, Whitney battled to stay clean according to her management, and her death comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and at the same hotel where her mentor, record mogul Clive Davis, was holding an annual pre-event party at which she was scheduled to perform.
Police officers in Beverly Hills told the media "they were called to the Beverly Hilton at around 3:20 p.m. PST and that emergency personnel found Houston's body in a fourth-floor room, and she was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. The cause of death is under investigation."
"She has been positively identified by friends and family (who) were with her at the hotel, and next of kin have already been notified," Lieutenant Mark Rosen told reporters. Police said there were no obvious signs of criminal intent.
Tributes poured in from around the world for a singer whose remarkable vocal range produced some of the most memorable music of her generation, including her signature hit, "I Will Always Love You."
"Whitney Houston was not only an amazing artist but also a beautiful person. She was so smart and her knowledge and appreciation for the musical art form was remarkable," Motown founder and R&B legend Berry Gordy said in a statement.
Whitney Houston won many award including the six Grammys, 30 Billboard awards and 22 American Music Awards. She released seven studio albums, sold some 170 million CDs, singles and videos that included smash hits "Saving All my Love for You."
In 2000, Whitney Houston and her husband were stopped at an airport in Hawaii and security guards discovered marijuana in their luggage. In a 2002 TV interview, she admitted using marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs.
The last 10 years of Houston's life were dominated by drug use, rumours of relapses and trips to rehab.
Aretha Franklin Whitney Houston's godmother said:
"I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen"
Bobby Brown said:
"I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage"