Whitney Houston was found dead 2/11 at 3:55 PM by her bodyguard on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hills hotel where only hours later she was to attend a pre-Grammy party hosted by her longtime mentor, Clive Davis. She was 48. Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party takes place at the same hotel Houston was found. The organizers of Sunday’s Grammy Awards on CBS retooled the show as a tribute to Houston, with the help of singer Jennifer Hudson.
The cause of death is still unclear. For a decade and a half, she ruled the charts: 170 million albums sold, including seven back-to-back multi-platinum ones.
Numerous No. 1 hits, including the biggest-selling U.S. single of all time, “I Will Always Love You.” She also scored dozens of Emmys, Grammys and Billboard Music awards.
While in recent years she battled drug addiction, Houston was in the midst of a comeback. She also had a movie in the works.
She had appeared healthy and beautiful in recent days, a music executive told CNN — who did not want to be identified because she didn’t want reporters hounding her.
Just days before, the exec had seen Houston swimming in the hotel pool with daughter Bobbi Kristina. They looked happy, she said.
Police and fire officials were called to Houston’s room at 3:43 p.m., after Houston’s bodyguard found her unconscious body. Medics tried reviving her, but failed. There were “no obvious signs of criminal intent,” said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen. Medics removed her body from the hotel room early Sunday morning and an autopsy has been scheduled. But the county coroner’s office could not say when.
Saturday night, fans mourned Houston’s death in different ways inside and outside the Beverly Hilton. Outside, they laid roses and flickering candles on the front and back entrances of the complex. Others played her music videos on their smartphones.
Houston had performed as late as Thursday night at a pre-Grammy event in the area, a rendition “Jesus Loves Me” with singer Kelly Price.