February 12th, 2012
08:31 PM ET

Whitney Houston: What we know, what questions remain

An outpouring of grief was seen from celebrities, fans and beyond on Sunday following the death of songstress Whitney Houston, 48, on Saturday at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel.

Whitney Houston: Powerful voice, stunning beauty, personal trials

However, answers about her final moments were in short supply amid a police investigation into her death - which occurred hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy party.

What we know:

Authorities were called to Houston's hotel room at 3:43 p.m. Saturday after her bodyguard found her unconscious. Houston was found in the room's bathtub, a coroner's spokesman confirmed. He would not confirm or deny a report by the entertainment news website TMZ that pill bottles were found at the scene. Someone in her entourage removed her from the tub and attempted CPR, the spokesman said. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., authorities said.

There were "no obvious signs of criminal intent," said Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen.

See the latest details here

While Houston had battled drug addiction for years, she was attempting a comeback, playing a few shows and working on a movie, "Sparkle," set for release this summer. An unnamed music industry executive, who was staying in the room above Houston, said she had seen Houston and her daughter swimming in the hotel pool a few days ago. The two looked happy, she said, and Houston looked healthy and beautiful.

Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was taken to Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday, police in Beverly Hills said. No information on her condition was available, but CNN's Casey Wian reported Brown was released after treatment.

Houston's former husband, entertainer Bobby Brown, issued a statement Sunday:

"I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife," the statement read. "At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed toward my family and I at this most difficult time."

Fallen stars from same musical era

The party Houston was set to attend Saturday night was hosted by Clive Davis, her mentor. It went on as scheduled, but Houston's death cast a shadow over the event.

Photos: Whitney and her famous friends

"I do have a heavy heart, and I am personally devastated," Davis told the gathering of artists and entertainers that included Tony Bennett, Gladys Knight and Britney Spears. He asked for a moment of silence, and said, "My heart goes out to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and her mother, Cissy."

Humble beginnings in church choir

The big questions:

However, many questions swirled Sunday about the cause of Houston's death. The Los Angeles County coroner's office announced late Sunday that an autopsy had been completed, but determination of a cause of death had been deferred pending toxicology testing, which could take six to eight weeks.

"At this time there's no signs of foul play," a coroner's spokesman said. He said Houston's family can proceed with funeral arrangements.

Meanwhile, Houston fans gathered outside the hotel Saturday night, lighting candles and placing roses outside.

How did Whitney Houston touch your life?

"Everyone has their own demons, and some overcome them and some never do," said fan Tya Conerly.

And with the Grammy Awards set for Sunday night, organizers hastily put into motion plans to honor Houston during the ceremony, with the help of singer Jennifer Hudson.

See what celebrities and friends are saying

There will be a "respectful musical tribute," said Ken Ehrlich, executive producer. "It's too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years."

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Filed under: Music • Showbiz • Whitney Houston
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Are you saying blacks are the only people dealing with drug problems ? Look for the word JERK in the dictionary and you'll see your picture posted right next to it.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • J_O

      Bobcat, you and I both know that black people aren't the only ones who deal with drug problems. Don't give ignorant posts (and those who post them) and considerable amount of your time or energy. One could only imagine the level of envy and hatred that lies within them that would prompt them to make such comments. Just pray for them, for Whitney and her family.

      February 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sue W

    CNN: Whitney Houston was in another movie after the Preacher's Wife. She played the Fairy Godmother in Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1997. Brandy was Cinderella.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • shan

      I loved that Cinderella. The songs were great!!! Bernadette Peters was the wicked stepmother.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dontblameme2012CLIVEDAVIS

    Clive Davis – does his stock go down now? Clive Davis – does he now give all Whitney proceeds to Aretha Franklin?

    February 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. echerriejr

    There are lots of sick people out there.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James

    Oh please Chris Brown is a dirt bag but he didn't force her to snort coke and pop pills. Being a junkie is a choice. No sympathy... just a junkie who OD nothing more. Total waste of talent.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • shan

      Ha. You got your singers mixed up. It's not Chris it's Bobby. The way I see it, with the number of people who binge drink in this country it sounds like you wish everyone were dead (maybe including yourself).

      February 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      I agree, Chris Brown is a dirtbag, but Whitney was married to Bobby. I know an addict (recovering) who was introduced to drugs by her ex-husband. I also knew a girl whose boyfriend pumped her with one too many shots of heroin, even after she was out...watch what you comment about.

      February 13, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. kelly courtney

    Photo Check In

    Dear Hollywood Elite, If you were with Whitney Houston, knowing shes an addict and you enabled her to drink and possibly do drugs, you are not a friend. Lets just get that straight. Your friend is dead and her blood is on your hands. Ultimately it was Whitney's choice to destroy herself, but you bore witness and you are spineless and without honor.


    February 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chantelle

      I couldn't agree more! Those people assisted in this tragedy, why was she left alone? Those friends need to answer some questions.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • toadears

      Here's their love for Whitney:..........................cha ching , cha ching

      February 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      I agree with you 100%...

      February 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Does CNN not have a moderator? There are many people who have passed away who I will shed a tear for before Ms. Houston given the way she chose to throw away her wonderful talents to get high however, to resort to racial slurs darkens our soul more than drugs darkened hers. Just an average white guy here who can't understand why people need a forum to vent there ignorance.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sarah

    you're a pathetic excuse for a human being

    February 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I guess you don't like Whitney Houston.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dyshauna

      How can you be so heartless? you only know of her struggle and her addiction problems, you don't know what was in her heart, you don't know her goals in life, you don't know her desires. Maybe she tried with all her might to overcome her obstacles, but just because she couldn't overcome that makes her a disgusting example of the human race? No, I think that makes her the perfect example of all of the human race in general. Many of us cannot overcome some of our struggles, small or great. But i guess that makes all of us disgusting examples of the human race then. Everyone deserves respect in death, addict or not. Jeez! I'm just baffled at your comment, but it is your opinion, and you are intitled to that, so I can respect it. Just try not to be so mean, you never know who may read your comment, like her daughter. I would hope that you were taught to show respect.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wesha456

      @Sarah. And u aren't??? I can tell by your comments the shape of your character is.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sarah

    you're pathetic

    February 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sarah

    you're a disgusting example of the human race

    February 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. me

    Crack is Wack yall !

    February 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    Drugs and alcohol are the rule not the exception among these elites of showbiz. Tragic.
    Whitney was indeed a great entertainer of our time. Why must these talents succumb to the dumbest of addictions?

    February 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lady

    I honestly do not understand how these people can be so rude and totally disrespectful.. Ms. Houston was one year older than my daughter.. My heart goes out to her family.. and I have tears in my eyes for the loss of Whitney.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • EQ620

      They're probably all low life black males. They sound it anyway. Can't even create a decent sentence or spell.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. debbie

    I cannot believe that people are using their freedom of speech in such a deplorable manner here. Whatever your demons Whitney, RIP. I'm certain whatever happened was not intentional.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PPUGrad04

    All of you racists living in glass houses who are commenting on this story are going to have your day.

    I'll be the bigger person, and pray that it is painless and without fanfare.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
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