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."

Post by:
Filed under: Music • Showbiz • Whitney Houston
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Brutus

    Her death has now become a bore. The media and sobbing comments need to stop. She died. So what. Move on.

    February 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      Then don't read. This IS how people move on!

      February 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • gingerpeach

      If it bothers you so much YOU move on and stop reading about it and stop the comments. After all it's so boring, why are you still posting???

      February 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Don't even know why you of all people decided to show here in a place you don't wish to be?
      Or you lost your geometric co-ordinates? Take a HIKE will ya?

      February 13, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Deb

    Dont assume anything. just because she had a drug problem doesnt mean she still does. it could have been an accidental overdose with precription meds, a heart condition or a number of other things. remember whitney houston for her amazing talent, and quit assuming her demise was drug use related.

    February 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PJ

    Please have compassion for those who are lost and ill and living in darkness – our time here is so short and in spite of all the adversity you face, if you just live each day as if it is your last, knowing that death is birth when you follow God's lead, your life will be enriched beyond your imagination. Prayer to Christ will bring an abundance of blessing to you if you just try and you will be amazed at how much better your life will be. Whitney is now at peace with Him.

    February 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick in NYC

    Whitney Houston was the black Streisand. Simply put she had the talent and image to last a lifetime – not a half a lifetime. Her gift was one in a billion and yet she chose the shameful path of drugs and destructive relationships when she knew better and had the means to choose differently (family, church, money). To whom much is given, much is expected. She was a once in a lifetime phenomenon who in the end was an awful steward of her precious gift. Shame on you for blowing it Whitney, but thank you for sharing what you had for as long as you could. You were a lot better than this. Maybe now you can finally see that.

    February 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bonner

    Unfortunately this was a train wreck waiting to happen. Bobbie Brown ruined her career and her life.

    February 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Noel

    First time I truly lisntened to Whitney Houston was when she sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Then, the "body guard". What a voice!
    Whenever this kind of thing happens, I always wonder about the people around her.. like those who claim to be her friends.. her family. Did they not see this coming? Did they do all they could to stop it? Did she have friends or were they all going along for the ride.? Do they now regret not acting sooner? What a waste.! I don't mean to offend...!

    February 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tammy

    Im glad her drugged out self wont be around her kids anymore. Good riddance.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • gingerpeach

      I hope people will have more understanding for you, when you pass.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |

    Most ot these deaths are caused by mixing depressive drugs together, which, when the patient goes to sleep, depress respiration enough to cause death. For Marilyn Monroe, they included alcohol, darvon and barbiturates. That is as deadly a combination as can be found.

    I am willing to bet that this talented lady was killed by a drug combination.


    February 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Wizer

      If you believe Tony Bennett from yesterday, if drugs were legal, she wouldn't have died.

      Right! Try and figure out what he meant. I can't. His solution to drug addiction is legalizing it.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Portland tony

    It's so sad to see what uncontrollable drug use does to humankind. Every day we hear of people hitting bottom because of drug addiction, some recover, many don't. There is no easy answer ...multiple families have had to deal with this curse. Whitney Houston you have finally found peace. Your talent will live forever. RIP

    February 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brutus

    So many sobbing idiots. Whitney is dead. Who cares? She asked for it. So when is charlie sheen going on that one way trip to meet his maker? The sooner, the better. Let's cleanse the earth shall we?

    February 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @BRUTUS....I see by your comment you know nothing about addiction or anything else for that matter.When it's your time, what will said about you?

      February 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wesha456

      @Brutus. It must be fun being perfect. Say whatever u want about Whitney Houston...her journey is over here on earth. With nasty comments like this, the only person u are hurting is her daughter and mom. They stuck by her thru thick and thin and that is wonderful. She is gone now. So don't be so hateful about this. Obviously u are wondering or u would not have been reading this article. Remember Karma can be pretty tricky. R.I.P. Miss Whitney!

      February 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • gingerpeach

      Brutus, You are a cold hearted jerk. You are what is wrong with the world today, at the same time if something life threating were to happen to you, you would be crying in your plate and begging for help, I hope you find some.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      You have the right name, BRUTUS, one who betrayed Ceasar. Have you no heart? Apparently, not. You don't know anything about addiction, or even human nature.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. steve

    they are beating this to death
    there is no mystery
    she overdosed
    intentional or not, the lady is dead.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Greg Wizer

    Why pray for anyone? There is no god,.....right, Hollywood. It's all about YOU!

    February 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brutus

    Toxicology report: She died happy doing what she did best, COKE. Good-bye user.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • gingerpeach

      and since you are all knowing you know that for a fact.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cptdondo

    What a shame... Such talent lost to the world because of drugs.

    I sincerely hope her death turns someone, anyone off the path to drugs.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry G

    She got tired of living. It happens.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9