Singer Whitney Houston, aged 48, is dead.
Musicians, many already in Los Angeles ahead of the Grammys, have lined up to pay tribute.
Houston, whose hits include I Will Always Love You, was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, hours before a traditional pre-Grammys diner hosted by veteran producer Clive Davis, who discovered Houston.
She sold over 170 million records before descending into a very public battle with substance abuse.
“She was one of the greatest singers I ever heard,” said veteran crooner Tony Bennett, on the red carpet at the Beverly Hills hotel, where Houston’s body was found in her 4th floor room.
Police comfirmed her death in a brief statement outside the hotel. “At 3:55pm, Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at the Beverly Hilton hotel,” said Mark Rosen, a police spokesman.
A member of her entourage called 911 after the singer was found on the floor of her room.
Attempts were made to resusitate her, but failed. The cause of death was not immediately known.
“There were no obvious signs of criminal intent at this time, and it is being investigated by the Beverly Hills police department,” said the police spokesman.
It’s repoted that Houston had been due to attend the Saturday night dinner, hosted by Davis who developed the young singer who made a string of 11 number 1 hits in the 1980’s and 90’s.
Condolences poured in from Twitter from shocked fans and famous, as sadness over the news spread out over the entertainment world.
“Heart broken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend…she will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices ever to grace the earth,” wrote Mariah Carey.
by Sel Hurst