Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston Dead At 48
Embattled soul superstar Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48.
The singer passed away on Saturday afternoon (11Feb12), according to Associated Press reports.
The 48 year old was on the verge of a film and music comeback after a decade spent battling drug issues and bad press as her marriage to Bobby Brown crumbled. The couple divorced in 2007.
Houston was among the world's biggest stars and most famous voices at the height of her career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when she scored hit after hit with songs like How Will I Know, The Greatest Love of All, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Saving All My Love For You.
She also hit the top of the world's pop charts with her rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You from the soundtrack to blockbuster movie The Bodyguard, in which she starred alongside Kevin Costner.
By the turn of the new century, however, the hits had all but dried up and Houston started to become better known for her erratic behaviour as drug abuse stories swirled around her and Brown.
She eventually confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and other drugs in a bizarre 2002 Tv interview with U.S. newswoman Diane Sawyer, in which she famously declared "Crack is whack!" - a statement which turned her into a laughing stock among TV comedians for years.
She twice checked into rehab and declared she was drug-free in 2010 when she sat down for a ratings-busting primetime TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of Dionne Warwick, Houston possessed one of the most amazing pop voices ever and she began her career as a back-up singer before music mogul Clive Davis became her longtime mentor.
Davis never waivered in his support for the superstar and he was behind her when she launched a comeback in 2008 with the album I Look to You, which took the singer back to the top of the charts.
But more bad press was to come as she promoted the album - she sounded off-key and raspy during a U.S. TV concert and she further failed to win over fans as world tour dates were cancelled following walk-outs at early shows and mass critical attacks on her talents. Houston blamed illness for the concert cancellations but the media and fans feared she had lost her once-golden voice, which had been ravaged by years of drug abuse.
A multiple Grammy Awards winner, she also found success on the big screen in films like Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife, and Houston was working on a new film, titled Sparkle, with Jordin Sparks at the time of her death. It is believed her scenes were completed. Unconfirmed reports suggest she was in talks to join the judging panel on The X Factor.
The cause of Houston's death has not been disclosed.