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Legendary singer Whitney Houston dies at 48

February 12, 2012 14:42 IST

Whitney Houston, the Grammy winning legendary singer-actress and heart throb of the 80's, whose once sparkling career was torn apart by drug abuse and personal problems, was found dead at a hotel in Los Angeles. She was 48.

The best-selling artist, whose incredible talent was discovered at an early age, was pronounced dead at 3.55 pm (local time on Saturday) at the Beverly Hilton despite resuscitation efforts, a police spokesman said.

Beverly Hills Police Lt Mark Rosen said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent" and that the cause of her death is being investigated.

Houston's bodyguard found her body, said Courtney Barnes, publicist for hip-hop artist Ray J, who was dating the pop diva.

Houston died on the eve of the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

According to her official website, Houston sold more than 170 million albums, singles and videos over her career.

But she also struggled with addiction problems over the years. Houston's background was steeped in soul and gospel music. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was gospel singer and she was cousin to singer Dionne Warwick, and goddaughter to Aretha Franklin.

Whitney was born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey.

She began singing in church and then in the night clubs of New York where the famed music producer Clive Davis reportedly spotted her after 20 years, signing her on the spot.

She was a model before being signed by Arista Records, according to her website.

Her debut album in 1985, 'Whitney Houston', became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release.

Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behaviour and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide.

She is famous for her debut acting role in 1992 film 'The Bodyguard', which included the hit single "I will Always Love You". The song became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history at the time.

Houston was set to appear in this year's "Sparkle," a remake of the 1976 hit, which was loosely based on the story of The Supremes. It was her first movie role since 1996's "The Preacher's Wife."

In 2000, Houston earned her sixth Grammy for best female R&B performance and, a month later, she was named female artist of the decade at the "Soul Train" Music Awards.

Her career stalled, however, in subsequent years as she entered rehab for addiction problems.

In May 2011, Houston got help for her much-publicised struggle with drugs and alcohol, her representative had said.

PTI
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