Singer Whitney Houston Dies at 48, Cause and Location Unconfirmed
Pop star Whitney Houston, 48, reportedly died on Saturday, but cause and location remain unknown.
Houston's publicist, Kristin Foster, said Saturday that the singer passed away, however she gave no comment on the cause of death or where she died.
Her death comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards, a place where she once reigned. Houston's longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.
Houston, inspired by soul singers in her New Jersey family, including mother Cissy Houston and cousins Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick, as well as her godmother Aretha Franklin, became one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, Houston won two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards during her record-breaking career. Her album "Whitney" was the first female album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold 200 million albums world wide.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."
The singer famously suffered from drug addiction for years.
"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 then-husband Brown by her side.
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 United States alone.
Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.
She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (Houston's hometown) tweeted, "RIP Whitney Houston, a Legend and great American artist. And always, one of Newark's and New Jersey's treasured daughters."
"A legend has died.," Booker said, adding, "As the world mourns the loss of one of the all time greats, we in Newark feel an especially deep sadness. She went from a Newark church to the global stage, but she always remained a deep part of our pride and collective heart. She will be missed. Our prayers are with her family."