Whitney Houston died aged 48 on Saturday afternoon (US time) in a Los Angeles hotel room at the Beverly Hilton. Police have confirmed she was found underwater and apparently unconscious in the bathtub. She was in town to perform at a musical tribute to the man who made her a superstar, record label boss Clive Davis. He was due to hold his annual pre-Grammys party in LA on Saturday night.
TMZ reports there were no signs of foul play (via Gawker). In May last year her spokeswoman said she was going back to rehab.
Billboard is reporting Davis's party will go ahead. BET is saying that there are reports that Jennifer Hudson will perform a tribute to Houston at Sunday night's Grammy Awards.
Musician Marcus Miller remembers the first time he saw Whitney perform...
"Luther Vandross called me up one day in 1983 and said, "I'm picking you up, you have to hear Cissy Houston and her daughter. They're singing together at Sweetwater's" (a supper club on Amsterdam Ave in NY).
He sat me right in front of the stage. Cissy and her daughter, Whitney, started singing and blew me away. They would sing in perfect unison, then break into two part harmony for one ridiculously high note. It was truly breathtaking. Luther was having as much fun watching my reaction as he was enjoying the show.
After they finished, he told me, "Clive Davis just signed her and he's gonna make her huge!"...and that's exactly what happened. I would always think about that 19 year old on that small stage at Sweetwater's when, over the years, I would hear her glorious voice on the radio. She was a true gift - she carried the lineage of her mom, her cousin Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin who her mom sang backup for..."
ADDED: LA Times reports that "Houston had recently finished shooting "Sparkle," the remake of the 1976 Irene Cara film that, eerily, focuses on talented young musicians whose lives are ruined by addiction. Houston also served as an executive producer on the movie, acquiring rights to the original film more than a decade ago...
"I'm in total shock," executive producer Howard Rosenman told The Times. "I have no idea about the impact on 'Sparkle,' which I saw last night.[Houston] was unbelievably fanastic in it." Meanwhile, a spokesman for the studio, Sony Pictures, said the movie remains set for an August 17 release.
The original 1976 film [watch] had a soundtrack performed by Aretha Franklin and written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. Rosenman was the writer of the original story with Joel Schumacher.