Legendary pop singer Whitney Houston has died at age 48, representative Kristen Foster said Saturday night.
The cause of death and where she died were not immediately known. In May 2011, Houston got help for her much-publicized struggle with drugs and alcohol, her representative said at the time.
As news of her death spread online her fans and celebrities tweeted that they were absolutely shocked and saddened at the news.
Tributes began flooding in almost immediately as people began expressing their shock at the news. Nearly all of the trends on Twitter worldwide were shortly associated with the singer's death. Among them: R.I.P Whitney Houston, #DearWhitney, #IWillAlwaysLoveYou, The Bodyguard, Bobby Brown and Wanna Dance With Somebody.
"The first full hour after the news broke saw 2,481,652 tweets and retweets, peaking at 61,227 tweets at 5:23 p.m. (all times are PST)," according to Topsy.com. "That is over a thousand tweets a second, not quite as much as during the Superbowl but still a lot."
Houston had been in Los Angeles and Grammy rehearsal parties were taking place one night before the music industry's biggest event. Stunned celebrities heard about the news all together.
At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned.—
Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) February 12, 2012
Mariah Carey, who famously performed a duet with Houston on "When You Believe" was stunned by the news.
Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston.—
Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) February 12, 2012
She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.—
Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) February 12, 2012
LaToya Jackson also took to Twitter to express her condolences to Houston's family. She and the rest of her family have gone through the turmoil of dealing with the sudden death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson.
La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) February 12, 2012
The news of Houston's death brought many people back to their childhood and reminisced on all of the ways Houston's music had entered their lives. Whether it was their love of a literal soundtrack, like "The Bodyguard," or the songs that were so embedded into their souls that ie became soundtrack to their lives, fans shared their sadness at the loss.
Whitney's music is the soundtrack to my womanhood.—
Mother Justice (@MotherJustice) February 12, 2012
Sang I believe the children are the future 6 grade graduation like so many other kids! Will never forget whitney !! R.I.P—
ghost (@therealstylesp) February 12, 2012
Many also wanted to share their favorite memories of Whitney Houston, sparking the trend #FavoriteWhitneySong.
Whitney Houston was a formative part of my childhood. And, this was our senior prom theme. Thank you, Whitney. youtu.be/tYFHAvULvJ0—
Aimie Billon (@AimieRocks) February 12, 2012
Roger Gonzalez (@rogergzz) February 12, 2012
Grant Gustin (@grantgust) February 12, 2012
R.I.P. Whitney Houston. We will always love you. instagr.am/p/G4-5fTGoz4/—
Rap-Up (@RapUp) February 12, 2012
For some fellow artists, the news hit at their core. Houston, for them, was not only an icon but also an inspiration for many.
R.I.P Whitney Houston... A true icon of our time. Gone too soon. My heart goes out to the family in their time of distress. URIV—
Usher Raymond IV (@UsherRaymondIV) February 12, 2012
Watching the news now...it's true. R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Ugh I hate that I'm even typing this...I'm shocked. She was my hero growing up.—
Keri Hilson (@KeriHilson) February 12, 2012
I can't believe we have lost Whitney. I can't stop crying... I'm so sad. RIP Whitney, my hero...—
Alexandra Burke (@alexandramusic) February 12, 2012
No words! Just tears #DearWhitney—
Rihanna (@rihanna) February 12, 2012
Rap star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson visited Kenya and famine-hit Somalia this week to raise awareness on hunger and poverty issues.
Jackson flew to the southern Somali border town of Dolo, which has provided refuge to the thousands of women and children fleeing drought and conflict in the nation.
"What I am seeing is devastating - these women and children have risked everything to come to this Somalia camp, just to get food," Jackson said. "They need our help."
Somalia has battled famine conditions in some regions and an Islamist insurgency that has disrupted aid to people in danger of starvation. The United Nations declared an end to Somalia's six-month famine recently, but said the situation is still fragile.
The singer teamed up with the World Food Programme for the Wednesday and Thursday visits that included a stop in a slum in neighboring Kenya.FULL STORY