Whitney Houston dead at 48, publicist confirms

Legendary pop superstar Whitney Houston is dead at the age of 48. No, this not another celebrity death hoax. Pop music queen Whitney Houston died on Saturday, her publicist announced in a press statement. In the most recent reports, Houston was reportedly found dead by a friend at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. No other information regarding the singer’s death has so far been released.

Whitney Houston publicist Kristen Foster announced the death of the Grammy-award winning singer and actress on Saturday afternoon. The report of the Whitney Houston death has been confirmed by CNN, the Associated Press and other major news outlets. Sadly, unlike false rumors of Whitney Houston’s death back in September, this time the news is terribly true.

Once worshipped as one of the biggest musical superstars in the world, Whitney Houston won 6 Grammy Awards, 2 Emmy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. The “Greatest Love of All” singer was one of the best-selling musical artists on the planet, selling over 170 million albums worldwide. She was also known for her acting in films such as “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”

Tragically, Whitney Houston fell as fast and hard as she flew after succumbing to a tragic spiral of depression and drug use. In one of her more upbeat and positive time periods, Houston openly confessed to abusing alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills.

“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2002 with ex-husband Bobby Brown at her side. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown divorced after 14 years together in 2006. Many fans blamed Brown for contributing to and enabling Houston’s drug abuse.

Still, even after everything she had battled with, Whitney Houston kept attempting to crawl back out of the dark into the light. With her 2009 album “I Look To You,” it seemed that perhaps the former music sensation was finally coming back into her own. Sadly, the positive buzz did not last very long after a concert to promote the album on “Good Morning America” went terribly bad. There was no denying, in watching her struggle for notes and waver wildly off pitch, that Houston’s voice would never be the same after too many years of abusing her body.

A world tour launched overseas also failed to find success, with some fans booing Houston and walking out. A number of concert dates were cancelled and rumors of drug use resurfaced, but Houston’s reps claimed the cancellations were due to illness.

Although Houston attended rehab multiple times and, in 2010, swore to Oprah Winfrey that she was clean and sober. However, her attempts to recover and relaunch her career continued to be largely unsuccessful. Whitney Houston’s once golden voice, ruined by drug use, was a raspy, strained imitation of her former glory. Still, she never seemed to totally give up and continued to struggle to find herself and reclaim some small portion of her former glory, just recently wrapping filming on a new movie.

Whitney Houston is survived by her daughter with Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.

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Annaka Turner

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