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. deirdre

    I cannot believe how disrespectful and ignorant people can be. Whitney, no matter what her troubles were, was an amazing and talented artist. She has a young daughter and a mother who are grieving their loss. She has left us with a lifetime of wonderful music. For those of you who choose to leave such distasteful comments....... your ignorance will be your legacy.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nutsy

      Her clock has been ticking for years, it's always been a given she would pass early.
      Live hard, die hard.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nancy

    J-Hud used Wight Watchers ......don't speak of what you do not know. Shows your lack of education.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Jennifer should be commended
      she looks great

      February 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Too many people are addicted to something most are manageable (functional) but we all need guidelines to follow that will keep us focused on proper moral standards and values....I know the question is what is proper moral standards and values,....I do know we seem to fail too often when we guide ourselves!

    February 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Billy274633

    No disrespect intended, but if you want to dance you have to pay the fiddler. Whitney's biggest problem was Whitney...and Bobby...and crack

    February 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • peter

      Dead on!

      February 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I wonder what yours are. Isn't it fantastic our biggest problems aren't out there for the world to see? We all have demons. Oh, wait...are you perfect? How delightful for you. Feel better now that you've stated the obvious? Kinda fun to have judgments to pass, eh? Take times away from us having to...look at ourselves, our own lives and our own problems.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GW

    It's okay, the melting pot has a bunch of low life racist trash.

    They are the "good-by earls" of the world. Just like the song, nobody will miss them when they are gone, unlike Ms. Houston who millions will mourn.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Sadly a lot of people will mourn a woman they never knew. Would it not be better to mourn your own family and friends, people you actually know? Rather than some singer that was elevated by the American public to be larger than life? She's just a person people – get a grip for god's sake.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • STLRose

      Reply to Nancy: Expressing condolences or sadness at the passing of someone in the public eye does not, in any way, take precedent over or replace expressions of something or concern for people in your personal life. For many people, including her generation, Ms. Houston was a landmark talent and beauty. The tragedy of her troubled private woes is sad and MAY have lead to an early grave. Most of us have plenty of compassion and concern to spread around.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      @Nancy; you sound like one of those CRAZY Sunday FAKE Christian GOPer who wrap their psychopath selves in the Bible yet; have NOT an ounce of Christianity or the Blood of Jesus in them.

      The Bible you psychopaths wrap yourself in to look like Christians in PIG tails clearly states somewhere by the Son the Living God quote: You mourn with those who mourn, unquote. HE (Jesus) also said: Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.

      I guess a FAKE Christian like you haven't yet come across these in your FAKE Bibles written by Oral Roberts, Jerry Farrewell, Pat Roberts, Tim Baker, Sarah Palin, Michele Buckmann or muffin face, Mitch McConnel etc. etc?

      As TRUE Christians we mourn her sudden passing or death even though we disagrees with certain life styles she led during her time here on earth yet; we knew this hour or day will surely come upon us one day when she lost control of herself to Hollywood.
      Remain MUTE to those who wish to mourn than remove all doubts of your evil upbringing, insanity and intent.

      February 13, 2012 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Break out

    @Nancy "...She ended up like a lot of black women do in America...". WTH? I know a lot of black women in America who don't do drugs and haven't died b/c of it. Check your running buddies.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • virginia Carnohan

      Whoever this Nancy is- your comments attest to the fact that public education needs to be fixed (and How) in the U.S. You are a part of the slimy underbelly of racism by whites towards blacks that holds this country hostage. I wish you'd go live somewhere else -like antarctica where its nice and "White" – Your comments disgust me.

      Just sign me white and part of the previously silent majority that is now speaking up to people (like you) who are apparently challenged in the thinking department.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • shan

      Oh yeah Nancy. ALL WHITE WOMEN ARE UPPER CLASS!!! Ha ha ha ha ha. You need to go by a welfare office and get a real eye opener.

      And yes plenty of wealthy white women have died from taking drugs. What planet are you living on?

      February 12, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • doug

      Nancy is obviously a jealous racist. I just don't understand the desire to be hurtfull when someone dies. It's the most base form of envy and lack of self esteem that Nancy is afflicted by. If anyone needs help, its her.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nancy

    Uh, NO – uneducated slob........she used Weight Watchers.....and by the way.... I am WHITE.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • moon1999

      White trash moron

      February 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gail

    The racist commment is uncalled for igorant and stupid. You should be ashamed of urself we are living in the 21 century Get rid of these types of comments. Caucasion in Canada

    February 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. donna

    It's hard to believe the ignorance that people show when they can hide behind false names. Unfortunately you all seem to reproduce which is horrible for the country. May God help us all if you are smart enough to learn how to vote.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • shan

      I think it's a single troll with no life using a number of different names. So...even though it's very annoying there is some solace that on this board there's just the one.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Break out

    @Nancy "...She ended up like a lot of black women do in America...". WTH? I know a lot of black women in America who don't do drugs and haven't died b/c of it. Check your running buddies.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Addiction knows no race or sex. It destroys any and everyone who can't fight it off. I certainly feel sorry for you fools who think it's a matter of choice.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    RIP to star all you haters get a life

    February 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    Not only black woman OD you got alot of white woman stars who OD also

    February 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TPF

    Whitney's death is not a shock at all. But it is one tragedy that should teach young folks to stay away from drugs.
    She will never ever be forgotten because of her beautiful voice. Just like Elivis and many many others that have died because of drugs I don't think about that when I hear their beautiful music. Just good memories is what we should have.
    We all know that the tabloids can hardly wait to tear hear apart for her lifestyle, but they only want to sell a story.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael Ruzicho

    rip.....

    February 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anotheronebitesthedust

    Those people in that Video look kinda happy to me ...

    February 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
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