Death of an American icon: Troubled singer Whitney Houston is found dead in Beverly Hills hotel room after drugs battle, aged 48

  • Award-winning singer and actress ‘found unconscious by bodyguard in her hotel room’
  • Emergency services administered CPR for 20 minutes but were unable to save her
  • Speculation that death is drug-related but cause is unknown
  • Star ‘partied heavily’ in hotel bar on Friday, according to reports
  • Last appeared in public on Thursday where she looked dishevelled and reportedly smelled of alcohol
  • Celebrities flock to Twitter to pay tributes to ‘beautiful and talented’ singer

(Mail Online) – Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, died on Saturday afternoon. She was 48.


Publicist Kristen Foster confirmed that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unclear.

She died at the Beverly Hilton hotel. She was apparently found by her bodyguard in her hotel room.

A spokesman for the local police department said that emergency services had been called to the hotel at 3.43pm on Saturday, arriving minutes later.

Officials rushed to the room on the fourth floor where she was staying as a guest, where they found security staff and firemen attempting to revive her using CPR

Life-saving attempts proved unsuccessful after 20 minutes, and she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.

Authorities are currently trying to determine a cause of death, according to the spokesman. He said there were ‘no obvious signs of foul play and no obvious signs of a cause of death’.

It was initially unclear whether or not her death was drug-related, as has been speculated by some.

Some reports said that Houston had been found by her on-off boyfriend Ray J, but that turned out to be mistaken.

The star ‘partied heavily’ with friends in the hotel bar on Friday night, according to TMZ.

Her ex-husband Bobby Brown was said to be ‘in and out of crying fits’ upon hearing the news – but was still planning to appear on stage on Saturday with his band New Edition.

A relative of Brown said Houston’s former husband is struggle to cope with the news.

‘He was sobbing, and by the end of the call, I was sobbing, too,’ the family member told People magazine. ‘He’s beside himself right now.’

Singer Johnny Gill, one of Brown’s New Edition bandmates, is on tour in Memphis with the star. ‘Bobby is struggling and he’s devastated,’ he told CNN.

Houston’s mother Cissie apparently spoke to her daughter just half an hour before her death, and did not think anything was wrong.

Her album Whitney was the first album by a woman to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold more than 170million albums worldwide.

Celebrities, from singers and rappers to television personalities and business leaders, took to Twitter to express their sadness at the news.

Stars praised the singer’s unmatched talent and passed on their wishes to her bereaved family, while others expressed their shock at how the award-winning singer passed away at the age of just 48.

‘Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston,’ said Mariah Carey, who recorded the Oscar-winning song When You Believe with the late star in 1998.

‘My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.’

‘Shocked we’ve lost the immensely talented Whitney Houston!’ wrote fellow singer Gloria Estefan.

‘Sending prayers of peace & solace 2 her family, friends & fans! Such a loss! Such an amazing talent!’

Rihanna tweeted: ‘No words! Just tears. I honestly can’t think of anything else!!! Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!’

But it was not just the music industry that felt the influence of Houston, with other celebrities expressing their condolences and thanks to the award-winning singer.

One high-profile figure to speak out was Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, who said: ‘R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.’

News of Houston’s death came on the eve of one of the biggest nights in music – the Grammy Awards.

It’s a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday’s ceremony.