Whitney Houston Dies at the Age of 48
The iconic American singer and actress Whitney Houston died yesterday, 11th February 2012, in her hotel suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. Although the cause of death is yet to be determined, it appears that she either fell asleep or became unconscious in the bath and although paramedics attempted to resuscitate her, she was pronounced dead at the hotel.
According to celebrity gossip website TMZ Houston’s stylist, hairdresser and two bodyguards were among the people in the room at the time. They became worried about Whitney because she had been in the bathroom for over an hour. Apparently the hairdresser, who is female, went in to check on the singer. She immediately screamed and one of the bodyguards came running in and pulled her out of the bath. The bodyguard attempted CPR and hotel security was called. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, but Whitney was pronounced dead at 3:55 PM (PST) [11:55PM GMT].
Whitney Houston’s career spanned four decades and she has sold 170 million records worldwide. The singer enjoyed huge success in the 80s and 90s, with a string of hit records scoring her 11 US and 4 UK number ones. ‘I Will Always Love You’ remains the best-selling single by a female artist of all time and in 2009 Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time.
Whitney’s death has already prompted heartfelt tributes from other recording stars. Motown legend Smokey Robinson said “I've known Whitney since she was a little girl and I have always loved her. She was like family to me.” Meanwhile Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin wrote on her Facebook page “It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen”.
Country singer Dolly Parton, who wrote ‘I Will Always Love You’, said in a statement: "Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, 'Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed'."
Elton John also paid his respects to Houston during his show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas last night, saying "This is a sad day today, all I want to talk about is her music. She was the most beautiful woman I think I ever saw… Thank you for giving us your talent, and one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard."
Modern chart stars were amongst those to pay tribute to a performer who has inspired many of those who came after her. Rihanna said, "No words! Just tears" while Katy Perry wrote "So devastating. We will always love you Whitney, R.I.P." and rapper Nicki Minaj commented "Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time."
A pre-Grammy party, at which Houston was due to perform, went ahead as planned just hours after the singer’s passing, but was dedicated to her memory. The event took place at the same hotel in which she died and was hosted by Clive Davis, her mentor and producer. Davis paid tribute at the party by saying "Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on, and her family asked that we carry on.”
A special musical tribute to Whitney will be performed by Jennifer Hudson at tonight’s 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Houston herself has been awarded with six of the prestigious awards throughout her career. She won her first GRAMMY in 1985 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for ‘Saving All My Love For You’. She took home the same award in 1987 for ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’. In 1993 Houston won three GRAMMYs: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record Of The Year for ‘I Will Always Love You’ and Album Of The Year for The Bodyguard — Original Soundtrack. Houston's most recent GRAMMY win came in 1999 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for ‘It's Not Right But It's Okay’.
Published: 12 February 2012