LOS ANGELES -
who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday . She was 48.
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The 48-year-old singer
died Saturday on the eve of the Grammy Awards. She had been expected to attend a pre-Grammy gala but was found dead hours before the event.Paramedics attempted to revive Houston, but were unsuccessful.
Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen told reporters outside the Beverly Hilton that Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 pm in her room on the fourth floor of the hotel. A coroner’s van left the hotel with Houston’s body in the early hours of Sunday, NBC News reported.
“There were no obvious signs of any criminal intent,” Rosen said.
Bobby Brown sobs for Whitney onstage
An examination had not been scheduled and that investigators are awaiting reports before an autopsy could be conducted, Capt. Brian Elias of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office told The Associated Press.
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said the cause of death was unknown.
Rosen said police received a 911 call from hotel security about Houston at 3:43 pm Saturday. Paramedics who were already at the hotel because of a Grammy party unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the singer, he said.
TMZ.com reported that Houston’s body was found in the hotel room’s bathtub, but by the time emergency services arrived she had been removed so it would take an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
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TMZ also reported that there was no evidence that Houston had been drinking alcohol in the room, although various bottles of pills had been discovered.
Her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, and cousin, Dionne Warwick, had spoken to her earlier in the day, perhaps just a half-hour before she was discovered dead, TMZ reported earlier.
Houston’s end came on the eve of music’s biggest night – the Grammy Awards. It’s a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to cast a heavy pall on Sunday’s ceremony.
A Grammys tribute to her was quickly planned, with Jennifer Hudson leading the show, Access Hollywood reported.
Hudson to lead Houston tribute at Grammys
Houston had been at rehearsals for Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala and concert Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica, according to a person who was at the event but was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The person said Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.
Two days ago, she performed at a pre-Grammy party with singer Kelly Price.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said he would call for a national prayer Sunday morning during a service at Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
“The morning of the Grammys, the world should pause and pray for the memory of a gifted songbird,” Sharpton said in a written statement.
Story: Stars react to Whitney Houston’s death
At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like
“The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”