[Ibogaine] Whitney Houston dead of apparent drug OD
davidpesce at rocketmail.com
Sat Feb 11 23:29:44 EST 2012
BREAKING NEWS: Troubled U.S. music legend Whitney Houston is found dead in Beverly Hills hotel room after drugs battle, aged 48
Award-winning singer and actress 'found unconscious by on-off boyfriend Ray J in her hotel room'
Emergency services administered CPR for 20 minutes but were unable to save her
Speculation that death is drug-related but cause is unknown
Last appeared in public on Thursday where she looked dishevelled and reportedly smelled of alcohol
Celebrities flock to Twitter to pay tributes to 'beautiful and talented' singer
By Hugo Gye and Lydia Warren
Last updated at 3:49 AM on 12th February 2012
Troubled: Whitney Houston looked worse for wear as she left Tru Hollywood nightclub this week
Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, died this afternoon. She was 48.
Publicist Kristen Foster said today that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unclear.
She died at the Beverly Hilton hotel. She was apparently found by her on-off boyfriend Ray J in her hotel room, though other reports dispute that account.
A spokesman for the local police department said that emergency services had been called to the hotel at 3.43 this afternoon, arriving minutes later.
Officials rushed to the room on the fourth floor where she was staying as a guest, where they found security staff and firemen attempting to revive her using CPR
Life-saving attempts proved unsuccessful after 20 minutes, and she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.
Authorities are currently trying to determine a cause of death, according to the spokesman. It was initially unclear whether or not her death was drug-related, as has been speculated by some.
Celebrities, from singers and rappers to television personalities and business leaders, took to Twitter to express their sadness at the news.
Stars praised the singer's unmatched talent and passed on their wishes to her bereaved family, while others expressed their shock at how the award-winning singer passed away at the age of just 48.
'Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston,' said Mariah Carey, who recorded the Oscar-winning song When You Believe with the late star in 1998.
'My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.'
'Shocked we've lost the immensely talented Whitney Houston!' wrote fellow singer Gloria Estefan. ‘Sending prayers of peace & solace 2 her family, friends & fans! Such a loss! Such an amazing talent!'
Rihanna tweeted: 'No words! Just tears. I honestly can't think of anything else!!! Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!'
But it was not just the music industry that felt the influence of Houston, with other celebrities expressing their condolences and thanks to the award-winning singer.
One high-profile figure to speak out was Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, who said: 'R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.'
Performance: Throughout the 80s and 90s, Houston was one of the world's most popular singers
Superstar: Houston will long be remembered as one of the standout performers of her generation
Award success: Houston was a frequent winner at the Grammys and other high-profile award ceremonies
News of Houston's death came on the eve of one of the biggest nights in music - the Grammy Awards.
It's a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday's ceremony.
STARS' TRIBUTES TO WHITNEY
'Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.'
'No words! Just tears #DearWhitney'
'Wow. RIP Whitney Houston. Grew up on her. She contributed to the soundtrack of many of my 12-year old sleepover parties.'
'This is the saddest thing I've ever had to write in my life, R I P to one of the greatest humans that I have ever known Whitney Houston.'
LeAnn Rimes: 'Whitney Houston was the first cd I ever bought. She had a God given gift. Hopefully, she’s singing with angels now.'
Her longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday, and a representative of the show said it would proceed.
Houston was supposed to appear at the gala, and Davis had said that she would perhaps perform: 'It's her favorite night of the year... who knows, by the end of the evening.'
Producer Jimmy Jam, who had worked with Houston, said he anticipated the evening would become a tribute to her, and he expected there to be one at the Grammys as well.
She had been at rehearsals for the show on Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica, according to a person who was at the event.
The source said Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.
Two days ago, she performed at a pre-Grammy party with singer Kelly Price.
After her death, the executive in charge of the awards issued a statement expressing sadness at the star's death.
'Six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston was one of the world's greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades,' Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, said.
'Her powerful voice graced many memorable and award-winning songs. A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice.'
At her peak in the 1980s and 90s, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry and one of the world's best-selling artists.
She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Relationship: Houston's turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown was the subject of tabloid gossip for years
Mentor: Houston's career was started by record label boss Clive Davis, who saw her singing in a nightclub with her mother
TRIBUTES: SHOWBIZ AND BEYOND
'R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.'
'Stunned by Whitney Houston's death at just 48. One of the greatest voices ever heard. #RIP.'
'So sad to hear the news about Whitney Houston. She was such a beautiful and talented woman. My heart goes out to her family. RIP.'
'At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned.'
'Just heard Whitney Houston passed away. Many prayers go out to her family and all who are grieving the loss of an icon.'
Among her hits were How Will I Know, Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. She won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies like The Bodyguard.
But by the end of her career, drug use took its toll as her record sales plummeted and her voice became raspy and hoarse.
Her image became tarnished by her well-documented troubles, including her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
By the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use.
Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances.
She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
'The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy,' Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
However, she will be remembered not for the troubles she encountered in her last decade, but for her extraordinary voice and star charisma.
Houston was discovered by record label boss Clive Davis, who once said: 'The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club... it was such a stunning impact.
'To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine.'
A police van and fire department officials were spotted outside the Hilton after Houston's death
Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too.
Houston made her album debut in 1985 with Whitney Houston, which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. Saving All My Love for You brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal.
Another multiplatinum album, Whitney, came out in 1987 and included hits like Where Do Broken Hearts Go and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Her moving 1991 rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.
In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with The Bodyguard. Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.
It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the Bodyguard soundtrack was named album of the year.
Odd friendship: Winfrey and Brown met with Israel's prime minister Ariel Sharon on a trip to the Middle Eastern country in 2003
But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs.
She blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against him in 1993. They divorced in 2007.
Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Oprah Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.
A UNIQUE TALENT AND INSPIRATIONAL PERFORMER WITH A TROUBLED LIFE
At her peak, Whitney Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."
She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.
She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.
She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.
"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."
"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.
Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. "Saving All My Love for You" brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," "You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles.
Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."
Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the "Soul Train Awards" in 1989.
"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."
Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image, and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.
But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.
"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."
It would take several years, however, for the public to see that side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.
In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.
It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the "Bodyguard" soundtrack was named album of the year.
She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."
But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time "The Preacher's Wife" was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. ... I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. ... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."
In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007.
Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.
She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.
Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum.
Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on "Good Morning America" went awry as Houston's voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.
A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out. Canceled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.
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