Whitney Houston dead at 48

The music world was shocked by news of the death of soul singer Whitney Houston. Although the cause of death was initially unclear, the 48 year-old singer and actress had well-publicised problems with drugs and alcohol.

Houston was found dead in her room in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. She was in Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards ceremony. She had been scheduled to perform at a pre-Grammy party at producer Clive Davis’s house.

Houston’s career was at its peak in the 1980s and 90s, and she sold more than 170 million albums worldwide. Her major hits included I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), Saving All My Love For You and I Will Always Love You, the theme for the 1992 film The Bodyguard, in which she starred.

She married singer Bobby Brown in 1992, but the marriage was troubled, with Brown arrested several times on charges including domestic abuse. The couple divorced in 2007 at the height of Houston’s drug problems. She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 declaring that she had beaten her addictions.

Houston spent much of the last decade fighting her drink and drugs dependency, but retained considerable respect and affection within the music industry. Producer Quincy Jones was among the first to pay tribute: "I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney's passing," he said in a statement. "I always regretted not having had the opportunity to work with her. She was a true original and a talent beyond compare. I will miss her terribly."

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