Whitney Houston Dies in LA Hotel Room

Award-winning singer Whitney Houston has died at a hotel in Los Angeles at the age of 48.

The news was first announced by her publicist Kristen Foster but the cause of star’s death, on the eve of the Grammys, is currently unclear.

Lieutenant Mark Rosen from Beverly Hills Police told KABC-TV that Houston was pronounced dead in her room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton hotel at 3.55pm (local time) on Saturday afternoon.

It is thought she was found by her bodyguard and could not be resuscitated.

“She has been positively identified by friends and family that were with her at the hotel, and next of kin have already been notified,” Lieutenant Rosen told reporters.

The death is not being treated as suspicious but the cause is being investigated.

On Thursday night the star was pictured looking dishevelled and worse-for-wear as she attended a pre-Grammy party in Hollywood. But earlier in the evening she had received a standing ovation for performing a duet with host Kelly Price.

Houston died hours before she was expected to perform at her longtime mentor, record producer Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy party, which is held at the Beverly Hilton.

Davis decided to continue with the party and stars including Alicia Keys and Serena Williams were seen arriving at the hotel.

The Grammy Awards, taking place on Sunday night, are the biggest event in the music industry’s calendar. The ceremomy is now likely to be a sombre, subdued affair that pays tribute to Houston’s huge contribution to music.

Plans for the evening have already been altered with Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan expected to perform a tribute to the artist.

At her peak in the 1980s and ’90s, Houston was the golden girl of the entertainment industry and one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Among her hits were How Will I Know, Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You.

 Her success carried her beyond music and she starred in movies, including most famously, The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner.

The soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy for Album of the Year. American film critic Roger Ebert tweeted that Amazon is currently streaming the film for free for Amazon Prime members.

Houston was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.

Houston was married to singer Bobby Brown for 14 years but the pair divorced in 2007 following a turbulent relationship that included claims of domestic violence.

The couple had one daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Franklin tweeted: “I just can’t talk about it now. It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby.”

She won two Emmys, six Grammy awards and 22 American Music awards and 30 Billboard awards as her successful career spanned three decades.

But for many years Houston struggled with drug addiction and financial problems.

She admitted using marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs.

Towards the end of her career her lifestyle took its toll on her stunningly powerful voice which became raspy and hoarse and she saw sales of her records plummet.

There was speculation that the singer, who was once worth an estimated £100m, may have been heading towards bankruptcy.

“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with Brown by her side.

She launched a comeback tour in 2009 and performed on the X Factor but there were concerns about her appearance and behaviour at the time.

In April 2010 she called media reports she was using drugs again “ridiculous” but in May 2011, Houston enrolled in a drug and alcohol rehab programme.

It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the US alone.