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Remembering Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

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Fans, family, and stars shocked at the untimely death of Whitney Houston

By BVN Staff –

On the eve of the music industry’s greatest night, the Grammy Awards, industry execs, peers, and fans remembered the life of Whitney Houston who was found in her Beverly Hills Hotel room unresponsive.

Her death on Saturday stunned the music industry, her fans and her fami ly. She was found unconscious and underwater in the hotel’s bathroom according to the L.A. police. They declined to speculate on the cause of death.

Houston was 48.

"Ms. Houston was apparently discovered in the bathtub by a member of her personal staff," who called hotel security, Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen said on Monday. She was pulled from the bathtub, but when paramedics arrived "she was unconscious and unresponsive," he said.

An autopsy was completed on Sunday, and a final death report is pending completion of an official investigation and toxicology reports that may take several weeks.

Houston’s body was flown from the Van Nuys airport to New Jersey Monday afternoon and is resting at a funeral home in her birthplace of Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday awaiting a private memorial service at the New Jersey church where she began singing.

According to published reports, a private funeral service will be held Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Janet Jackson stated on hearing of Houston’s passing, “I couldn’t believe it. Immediately I started shaking. I was trying to text everyone that I knew to let them know and I was speechless. I could not believe it.”

"Whitney was gifted with the ability to take us directly to the source. The source of light. The source of creation. The source of humanity. The source of God (LOVE). Forever, that is how she will live on in my heart. Thank You, Ms. Houston," in a written statement from R&B singer and songwriter Rahsaan Patterson.

Born Whitney Elizabeth Houston on August 9, 1963, Houston is the third and youngest child to Army serviceman John Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Cissy Houston.

At the age of 11, Houston followed in her mother’s footsteps and started performing in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls high school in Caldwell, New Jersey. While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing.

In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed. He convinced Arista's head Clive Davis to make time to see Houston perform.

Davis too was impressed and offered a worldwide recording contract that Houston signed.

In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time.[1] Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide.

Houston began singing with her New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11. After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.

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