February 13th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

Whitney Houston: What we know, what questions remain

Singer Kelly Price told CNN on Monday that she performed an impromptu duet with Whitney Houston at a party two days before Houston's death.

"She did not seem disheveled. She was dancing, she was laughing. ... We were having a good time," said Price said of the party two days before the Grammys. "What I saw on Thursday night was not erratic behavior. I didn't see someone who was high."

Friend: Whitney was 'joyful and upbeat'

Beverly Hills police have requested a "security hold" on the coroner's report, a common practice in high-profile cases that limits what can be revealed about a probe while it is ongoing.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles county coroner's office, refused to speculate on a cause of death, saying testing is ongoing. Winter on Sunday said no additional details, including what was discovered in Whitney Houston's room, would be released.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, singer Tony Bennett, who won two Grammys Sunday night, recalled to Rolling Stone the first time he heard Houston's voice. "I called Clive Davis up," he said of the record label boss who discovered Houston. "And I said, 'Clive, that's the best singer I ever heard in my life. You really got something on your hands.' Sure enough, at the beginning she was singing everything so beautiful.

A source close to Houston, however, told CNN Monday that her body will be flown to her native New Jersey, and a funeral service will be held there Friday or Saturday.

Whitney Houston's music skyrocketed to the top of the charts in the wake of the singer's death, which was announced on Saturday.

Houston's recordings ruled the top 175 songs on Apple's iTunes on Monday, led by her recording of the Dolly Parton song, "I Will Always Love You."

"I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "Greatest Love of All," both from Houston's "The Greatest Hits" album, clocked in at numbers two and three.

Houston's songs dominate iTunes

Tributes continue to pour in Monday while questions remain in the wake of pop diva Whitney Houston's sudden death, which loomed over the music world's biggest stage this weekend, the Grammys.

Coroners on Sunday completed an autopsy on Houston, who was found dead Saturday in her suite in the upscale Beverly Hilton hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards bash at the hotel.

Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office told reporters "there will be no cause of death at this time because it is pending toxicology reports." Those lab results are expected in six to eight weeks.

On Sunday night, the Grammy Awards feted a new siren, Adele, even as it mourned a classic one, with celebrities paying tribute to Houston on the star-studded night.

Host LL Cool J opened with a prayer for Houston, a six-time Grammy winner. "How do we speak to this time, to this day? There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family. At least to me, the only thing that seems right is to begin with a prayer for the woman that we loved, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston." The crowd paused as the rapper and actor said a quick prayer.

Earlier Sunday, Houston's 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, was taken to a Los Angeles hospital, police said.

Beverly Hills police said Sunday the teen went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at about 11:15 a.m. She was released later Sunday and was expected to head to New Jersey, where her grandmother lives, said a source close to the family.

Singer Kim Burrell, a family friend, told CNN she was with the teenager Saturday at the Beverly Hilton after Houston died. "As to be expected, she's overwhelmed it's her mother. She knows how much her mother meant to the world. And Bobbi Kristina has a huge heart, just like her mother," Burrell said from the red carpet at the Grammys.

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Filed under: Music • U.S. • Whitney Houston
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Real Time

    Another beautiful talent lost ,,,,, when will we learn ??????

    February 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chucky

    some of these people are idiots. Whitney was a mother,wife(at one time) and a daugther. Have a little compassion. She battled a disease for years. It doesn't take away from the things that she has accomplished in life. She was a beautiful woman,a great singer and a good actress. May God bless her soul and her family!

    February 13, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Trueview

    Whetney you taught us so much. Mothers don't let your children get drunk and smoke crack in the tub. Let us pray, Whitney god gave you so much talent so you wouldn't have to work at the drive thru. In fact you barely had to work at all. Just show up and have your behind kissed a few hours. Other's have to work night and day to keep rich people like you happy. Your life was so hard. Bobby wooping up on you when you and all. Smokin crack all day. I don't see how you could drink soo much.Po Po Whitney. Now you are gone and we all are suppose to worship you. Amen

    February 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Trueview

    Hello, God here. Some have suggested I would allow crack heads thru the gates. Well, we have rules up here you know. I can make anyone sing like a bird, so that don't fly around here. By the way, I can't stand drunks. I tried to be nice and gave that Whitney girl everything. She spit in my face and hooked up with that low life Bobby Brown.See what been nice gets you? Hups, gota go. Dr Phil is almost on. Over and out.

    February 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. @ease

    I was in the entertainment business for a short while. The schedules are not 9-5. Never routine week really. You may have a gig at 10pm and then have to go to hop on a 6am flight the next morning for something or other. You find yourself taking things to make you fall asleep; make you stay awake; make you calm down from your anxieties, etc., etc. I am glad that is no longer my world. I may not be able to afford a big house or fine clothes but I've got much more...peace of mind. R.I.P. Whitney.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      You hit the nail on the head. Irregular schedules and the need for downers and uppers.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Leslie Rich

    Many people are making assumptions that are not necessarily based on fact. Yes, it's possible – perhaps even likely – that alcohol and drugs played a role in Whitney Houston's death. Yes, it's possible – perhaps even likely – that she had a "slip" that lead to her demise. And yes, it's possible – perhaps even likely – that her struggles with addiction were ongoing...BUT...

    As a recovering alcoholic with 33+ years of continuous sobriety, I urge people...especially people who have never walked in her shoes...to take a deep breath, step back, wait for the facts, and not "assume" that they know what happened, or make judgements about her that aren't based on knowledge and experience, necessarily.

    When I first got sober I was like a fish out of water. I didn't know how to do ANYTHING without booze! I was told, if I went to a function where alcohol was present, to hold on to a glass that was filled with something non-alcoholic – fruit juice, ginger ale, whatever...it didn't matter what was in the glass as long as it was non-alcoholic. The point is, NO ONE BUT ME KNEW WHAT WAS IN THE GLASS. For all anyone knew, nothing had changed for me. They assumed I was drinking what they were drinking...scotch, champagne, wine...whatever. Holding on to that glass kept me safe, and didn't make me feel as if I stuck out like a sore thumb.

    My point? If I were placing a bet, I guess I'd bet that Whitney Houston "slipped"....but I don't KNOW that...just like I'm not sure any of the people who were "partying" with her on Thursday night know for sure what was in the glass with which she was toasting.

    Alcoholism/drug addiction s a disease. I was lucky enough to get sober and stay sober. I'm in the vast minority. It's a daily job to stay sober. People can take all the suggestions, "walk the walk" so to speak...and still, too often, they have lapses. It's a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease. But having it certainly doesn't make a person "weak" and moral judgments,. in my humble opinion, simply show how much education most people need about this potentially terminal illness!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kim

    I cannot stand all of the negative comments. Whitney was an astounding vocal artist that paved the way for many young women. In my eyes she was flawless, incredible, & most of all beautiful. Leave Whitney alone and let in RIP. Also, I have read over and over again that Bobby and Whitney were doing A GREAT JOB WITH THE COPARENTING OF THEIR DAUGHTER BOBBI KRIS after the divorce. They WERE FRIENDS, NOT ENEMIES as they should have been. If they were making it work, why would others have a problem with it? I am so super sick of these judgemental people!! They were MAKING IT WORK, they were not arguing fussing and fighting. How do we know they were not? Because if they were arguing, fussing and fighting SOME NOZEY AZZ PERSON WOULD HAVE PLASTERED IT ALL OVER THE WIDE WORLD WEB! Come on people, they have all went through enough with the passing of Whitney. Leave Bobby alone, let him grieve in peace.
    RIP WHITNEY!

    February 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Madinah

    I think more respect should have been given to her fans and provision made to assure their happiness as well as all her rich celebrity family and friends. After all it is the fans that give their time and money to make the so called celebrity rich, but when something happens the fans are not included and left in the cold to dry with no respect.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. jeff

    This movie has been played so many times before, when will Hollywood and the country see the ending credits? There is no end to this saga, more sequels to come.

    February 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
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