Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48 (Aug. 9, 1963 - Feb. 12, 2012) according to a family spokesman. Paramedics found the singer in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. She was pronounced dead at 3:55PM on Saturday, Feb. 11 (Sunday, Feb.12, at 7:55 AM in the Philippines).
"Unfortunately it is true," the spokesman said. The circumstances behind her death remains unclear.
The singer was set to attend the annual pre-Grammy party of Clive Davis, founder of Arista Records. According to TMZ, one of the staff of the hotel said that the singer "'partied heavily' with friends last night, who were all drinking in the bar and making lots of noise."
Whitney Houston is the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and cousin of singer Dionne Warwick. She catapulted to stardom with a string of smash hits in the 1980s and the 1990s, including "The Greatest Love of All," "I Will Always Love You," "Run to You," and "I'm Every Woman." She crossed over to acting, starring in The Bodyguard, alongside Kevin Costner, and Waiting to Exhale. The soundtrack of the latter won Album of the Year at the Grammys in 1994 featuring the song "I Will Always Love You." With over 400 awards to her name, including 6 Grammys and 2 Emmys, the Guinness Book of World Records has listed Whitney Houston as "the most awarded female artist of all time."
Twitter's abuzz about the news, becoming a trending topic worldwide when news broke, with many sending messages mourning the iconic singer including artists touched by her body of work.
Mariah Carey tweeted: "Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. My heartfelt condolences to Whitney's family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world." She added:
She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.
Gary Valenciano, meantime, posted the message:
Ur music will liv on and on. "There can be miraclesàWHEN YOU BELIEVE" Thank uàtho uv bin thru so much, u still inspired us.
Elton John, who was on stage at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, dedicated the song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" to Houston, according to the Associated Press. He said, "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."
Proof of her profound influence in the music industry can be seen on how it cuts across various generations. Even pop star Justin Bieber sounds off on her untimely demise.
just heard the news. so crazy. One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and family
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Sources: abs-cbnNews.com, TMZ, Associated Press