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Shocking, tragic news out from both the Associated Press & TMZ today: Whitney Houston (How Will I Know, Saving All My Love For You, I’m Your Baby Tonight) has passed away at the age of 48.

No word yet on the cause, but Houston’s death was reported by the Associated Press who quoted Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster.

TMZ says Dionne Warwick & Cissy Houston spoke with Whitney Houston by phone just before she died and say Whitney seemed fine.

Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, spoke with her daughter 25-30 minutes before she died & nothing seemed unusual. We’re told they talked about attending the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party.

Dionne Warwick, Whitney’s cousin, called as well several hours before Whitney died to make sure they were sitting at the same table at Clive’s party. And again there were no signs of trouble.

Beverly Hilton hotel employees tell TMZ Whitney Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her room. Whitney’s bodyguard found Whitney Houston dead in her 4th floor hotel room.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen told reporters outside the Beverly Hilton that police received a 911 call from hotel security about Houston at 3:43 p.m. Saturday, and paramedics were already at the hotel because of a Grammy party. Paramedics unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the singer, the lieutenant said.

Rosen also said members of her entourage tried to perform life saving measures, but were unable to revive her.

“There were no obvious signs of any criminal intent or trauma at this time,” Rosen said.

Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. in her room on the fourth floor of the hotel. Her body remained there & Beverly Hills detectives were investigating.

No illegal drugs have been found in the hotel room where Whitney Houston died, but prescription drugs were present, & it’s possible the singer drowned in the bathtub. Beverly Hills cops (who were still searching the room at the time TMZ posted this story) found various pill bottles. There was no evidence that Whitney was drinking alcohol in the room.

TMZ says when EMTs arrived Whitney’s body was already removed from the bathtub so it will take an autopsy to determine if she OD’d, drowned or died from some other cause.

Whitney’s body has now been removed from the room on a gurney. It will go to the morgue for an autopsy to determine cause of death.

Trendwire is reporting Whitney was going to perform a Diana Ross tribute Saturday night at the Beverly Hills Hilton for Clive Davis’s Gala, singing two Diana Ross songs & one of her own. Now the tribute is for Whitney.

Links to the news stories:

Associated Press

TMZ

At last check, Whitney Houston’s official website was overwhelmed with visitors.

An article from just Friday indicated she was being offered a seat as a judge on the television show “X-Factor”: The Hollywood Reporter

TMZ had also reported spotting Whitney out just last weekend with on-again/off-again beau Ray-J.

What ended up being her last performance was Thursday night at the Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For The Love Of R&B Grammy Party at Tru Hollywood. She sang a bit of “Jesus Loves Me” with R&B singer Kelly Price.

A short fan-recorded video of part of that performance can be seen by clicking below:

Whitney Houston played Jordin Sparks mother in a new film, “Sparkle,” that was shot in Detroit in November 2011, & is currently in post production. The film was to be released in August 2012. This was Whitney Houston’s first film role since 1997, & now, of course, her last. Sparkle is about 3 sisters who form a successful singing group & must deal with the fallout of fame & drugs. The story is likely to hit painfully home for many Whitney Houston fans, many of whom already suspect the coroner’s report will indicate this was in fact what finally took her own life.

Houston had one child, Bobbi Kristina, with husband Bobby Brown. Houston & Brown were married from 1992 to 2007. Her death is immeasurably sad for her daughter Bobbi Kristina, her mother Cissy, sister in law & manager Pat Houston & the rest of their family, as well as her mentor Clive Davis, who has counseled Whitney & stood by her through thick & thin. As recently as last year Davis guided Houston back into rehab with her personal counselor & took extreme care to make sure she was alright

In a statement, Recording Academy President & CEO Neil Portnow said Houston “was one of the world’s greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades.”

“Her powerful voice graced many memorable and award-winning songs,” Portnow said. “A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice.”

Some celebrities have expressed their grief through Twitter:

Paris Jackson: “R.I.P. Whitney Huston, I’ve always idolized her and her amazing talent <3" LaToya Jackson: "I can’t fathom the fact that #whitneyhouston has died! My heart goes out 2 her mother, daughter & her love ones. #Whitney U will be missed!" Adam Shankman: "I choreographed I’m your baby tonight miss you angel" Gloria Estefan: Shocked we’ve lost the immensely talented Whitney Houston! Sending prayers of peace & solace 2 her family, friends & fans! Such a loss! L.A. Reid: "I am completely devastated by the loss of the greatest voice of all time! R.I.P. Whitney Houston. I will always love you!" Goldie Hawn: "I am so very sad to hear of Whitney Houston's passing. She was one of our great artist that graced us all. May she rest in peace." Rosie O'Donnell: "Dear God ... There is a grief that can't be spoken #DEVASTATED" Russell Simmons: "R.I.P. Whitney Houston, really can't believe this" Sam Harris: "I am just so so sad. I can’t believe the news about Whitney Houston. I first saw her perform when she was about." Joan Rivers: Whitney Houston. What a sad tragedy - the end of the life of an incredible talent. RIP to an amazing singer and legend. Lenny Kravitz: "Whitney. Rest in peace. There will never be another like you. Lenny" A great voice has been stilled; she will be missed.


R.I.P., Whitney — August 9, 1963 — February 11, 2012

Posted by Gene
Posted under Artist Update, Uncategorized
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