Music Fans Mourn Death Of Pop Star Whitney Houston
Updated: Updated 02/12/2012 05:30 PM
By: Ruschell Boone
As New Yorkers and the music industry mourned on Sunday the loss of pop superstar Whitney Houston, investigators in Los Angeles were still trying to determine what had made the 48-year-old singer die the previous day.
Authorities say there are no signs of criminal intent.
An ambulance carrying the body of the six-time Grammy winner left the Beverly Hilton Hotel early Sunday morning.
Houston was found unconscious in her room Saturday afternoon.
"When our officers arrived in the hotel room on the fourth floor, fire department and hotel security were already attempting resuscitating measures, but at 3:55 this afternoon, Whitney Houston was pronounced dead," said Lieutenant Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
Some of those closest to Houston posted message on Twitter after hearing about her death.
Her godmother, legendary singer Aretha Franklin, said, "I just can’t talk about it now. It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen."
Singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson said, "I've known Whitney since she was a little girl and I have always loved her. She was like family to me and I will miss her dearly."
Houston burst on the music scene in the 1980s with a powerful, gospel-inflected voice and won her first Grammy Award in 1986.
One of her biggest hits came in 1992 with her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," from the movie "The Bodyguard." The song was number one on the Billboard charts for a then-record 14 weeks.
Houston made her big-screen debut in "The Bodyguard," and went on to star in films like "Waiting to Exhale."
In later years, she was beset by drug and alcohol use, and seemed to lose the soaring voice that once put her at the top of the charts.
"Suddenly everything unraveled. So ultimately, I think her legacy will be the music but she's become a tabloid story and that is probably going to dominate what a lot of people are talking about now, given this horribly untimely death," said Rolling Stone contributing critic Anthony Decurtis.
Radio personality Hal Jackson hoped people will remember Houston for a lot more than her personal troubles. He knew her before she was a star and remained friends with her family.
"She did so many things. She was such a talent," said Jackson. "I use to make a lot of appearances with her. No matter where you wanted her, if she was going to perform at the theater, perform at one-nighters, going to the hospital, she's right there with you."
Outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New Yorkers said Houston's music was a major part of their lives.
"I don't think there's ever going to be anyone like here. Her voice was a very powerful instrument. She's going to be missed," said a fan. "It's just a sad day for pop music, for black music. You know, Whitney Houston was a star."
"There's going to be a whole lot of memories, a whole lot of tears. That's just changed the whole landscape right now, everything just shifted," said another fan.
Houston is survived by an 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, whose father is Houston's ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown.
Houston and Brown had a rocky marriage, with charges of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993, and the couple divorced in 2007.
In a statement released to "Extra," Brown asked for privacy and said, "I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time."
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