WHITNEY HUSTON'S DEATH FULL REPORT


Houston died Saturday in Los Angeles, casting a pall over the biggest weekend in music as the entire industry descends upon the City of Angels for Sunday’s Grammy awards.

The first event to feel the impact of the singer’s death will be the annual Clive Davis party, hosted at the Beverly Hills Hilton–the same hotel where Houston’s body was found. It’s too late to cancel the 800-person dinner, and thus the event will likely turn from celebration to memorial. Davis, who guided Houston’s career, figures to be among those most heavily affected by the sad news.

The 54th annual Grammy awards will still take place tomorrow night at 8pm Eastern Time, and the ceremony promises to be the most somber iteration in recent memory. Tribute plans have not yet been finalized, but organizers will doubtlessly be working late into the night to incorporate a memorial aspect into a show set to include performances by Coldplay, Rihanna and Paul McCartney; all can be expected to pay homage to the late star.


“Nothing I could write on Twitter could possibly express what Whitney Houston means to me personally and professionally,” wrote songwriter Claude Kelly, a frequent Houston collaborator, earlier this evening. “Nothing. Speechless.”

Houston was one of the most celebrated artists in recent memory. She sold over 55 million records in the U.S. alone, perhaps best known for her work on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. But she fell victim to offstage demons, struggling with substance abuse issues while enduring a tumultuous relationship with New Edition singer Bobby Brown.

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

Just 48 years old when she passed away, Houston now joins the ranks of Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse–gifted stars gone too soon. If there’s any solace to be taken, it’s the fact that stars like Jackson continue to live on through productions like Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour.

Perhaps someday soon, Houston will live on in a similar manner. For now, her legacy will be her music.

Whitney Houston's rep issued a shocked denial today to counter reports that the singer/actress has died

In a statement, her publicist, Nancy Seltzer, said, "I've just spoken to Whitney. She is perfectly fine and does not understand why, with everything going on in the world right now, they have to find new rumors to dig up. She is home in New Jersey with her family." Seltzer said people were calling the singer at home and sobbing, after apparently having heard reports of her death over the radio. According to the rumors, Houston had died of a drug overdose.

Fans and the media have speculated about Houston's health after her performance at Friday's Michael Jackson tribute concert at Madison Square Garden, where she appeared shockingly thin, even skeletal. The singer then bowed out of the second night of the concert without explanation, prompting heightened speculation about her health. Houston has long been rumored to have drug problems, and in Tuesday's edition of the New York Daily News — which was evidently published before horrific terrorist attacks brought the city to a standstill — Seltzer denied fresh reports that her celebrity client was on drugs.

"Whitney has been under stress due to family matters, and when she is under stress, she doesn't eat," Seltzer told the New York tab at the time.

Houston and her husband, singer Bobby Brown, have had a history of drug- and alcohol-related issues, including possession of marijuana charges for Houston in January 2000, which were later dismissed, and a 75-day stint in jail for Brown in 2000, after he violated his probation (stemming from 1996 drunken driving charges).

ABCNEWS.com's Buck Wolf contributed to this story.

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