RIP, Whitney Houston


Pop-soul singer and one-time record breaking hitmaker Whitney Houston died on Saturday night in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy awards.

As of Sunday morning, the cause of death of the 48 year old Newark, N.J. native, whose once pristine image was was sullied by years of self-destructive drug use and wildly unpredictable behavior, was still unnannounced.

Houston died in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton hotel on Saturday afternoon, west coast time. An annual pre-Grammy party thrown by Houston's music industry patron, legendary executive Clive Davis, was scheduled to take place, with Houston performing, in the ballroom of the same hotel on Saturday night.

The show went on, and turned into an unplanned Houston memorial, as tonight's Grammy telecast from the Staples Center undoubtedly will also. According to Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow, Jennifer Hudson will perform a tribute to Houston during the show, which airs on CBS at 8.

At the party, Davis said of Houston, "She graced this stage with her regal presence so many times," according to a Wall Street Journal report. "Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked us to carry on."   Tony Bennett and Diana Krall opened the Davis party with a duet of "How Do I Keep The Music Playing?" and Bennett called Houston, "the greatest singer I ever heard in my life." 

Below, the video for "I Will Always Love You," Houston's mega-hit cover of the Dolly Parton song from the 1992 soundtrack to The Bodyguard. The song stayed atop of the Billboard charts for a then-record 14 weeks.

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