Category: Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston: Aretha Franklin, LeAnn Rimes pay tribute

Click here for more pictures of Whitney Houston
Musical tributes to Whitney Houston will likely ramp up in the coming weeks and months as artists and the industry get a better handle on the pop titan’s tragic passing on Saturday. Yet some affecting ones already are starting to appear.

Country veteran LeAnn Rimes offered a raw take on “I Will Always Love You” at a Reno concert just hours after the singer was found dead in her hotel room in Beverly Hills. During the touching performance, video of which is below, she had to stop to recapture her composure, which she was able to regain at the encouragement of the audience. While "I Will Always Love You" became one of Houston's signature songs, it was penned by country legend Dolly Parton. 

On Monday R&B singer Ashanti feted the singer during her set on ABC's “Good Morning America.” But it's Houston’s godmother, Aretha Franklin, who has the net buzzing.

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012

During a concert in North Carolina on Monday night, Franklin performed a brief yet elegant tribute to Houston. Franklin, perched at a piano, riffed on"I Will Always Love You" before offering a sermon and asking the audience to join her in “acknowledging one of the greatest singers that ever stood before a mic.” She then asked them to pray for Houston's family and thanked the singer for her "music and legacy."

Meanwhile, R&B/funk icon Chaka Khan, who was close to Houston, is speaking out against Clive Davis’ decision to carry on with his annual pre-Grammy gala, which occurred at the same Beverly HIlls hotel just a few hours after Houston’s death. Her body remained in the Beverly Hilton during the somber event. 

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

"I thought that was complete insanity," Khan said Monday during an interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

"And knowing Whitney I don't believe that she would've said, 'The show must go on.' She's the kind of woman who would've said, 'Stop everything! I'm not going to be there.' I don't know what could motivate a person to have a party in the building where the person whose life he had influenced so enormously -- and whose life has been affected by hers. I don't understand how that party went on."

 

Continue reading »

Valentine's Day: 5 songs to love from Whitney Houston, T-Pain, etc.

Valentine's Day songs from Whitney Houston, R. Kelly and Toby Keith fit any mood

The holiday-industrial complex that props up Valentine's Day has little use for specificity. (Readers without children may be shocked to discover that Dora the Explorer and Mater from "Cars" harbor virtually identical views on romance, at least as presented on kids' paper valentines.)

As a form, though, the love song continues to offer nearly infinite room for the precise details of love as it's lived. In that spirit, here's a Valentine's Day playlist filled not simply with the best love songs (whatever that means), but with some of those that take a more particular stance.

 

The Best Love Song About a Heartbroken Guy Raging Against the Machine

T-Pain, "Default Picture" 

The unofficial king of Auto-Tune takes his obsession with technology to appealing new heights in this cut from last year's sorely underrated "Revolver." The setup is simple: T-Pain falls for a woman based on her Twitter avatar, then describes the agony of unrequited love in the age of social media. ("Am I bothering you?" he asks at one point, "Should I be un-following you?") Yet the emotion T-Pain wrings from the ubiquitous vocal-processing software is anything but easy; indeed, Auto-Tune's android-like qualities paradoxically increase the desperation in T-Pain's voice, adding yet another layer of outsider-looking-in. The result is a perfect marriage of form and function.

The Best Love Song in Which a Guy Changes His Mind About Birth Control

R. Kelly, Tyrese, Robin Thicke, The-Dream, "Pregnant"

In this all-star R&B slow jam -- the six-minute finale of Kelly's 2009 "Untitled" album -- we're told of a man with no appetite for commitment: "See, I'm a player, so I ain't trying to take her on no dates," Kelly sings right at the outset. One night at the club, though, he finds himself bewitched by a woman with "an unbelievable booty," and before he knows it he's asking her to "put them pills on chill"; meetings with a Realtor soon follow, as do promises of shopping sprees (presumably at A Pea in the Pod) and a transformed attitude about love. "Around the world, in and out of clubs, hanging with chicks," Thicke recalls of the bad old days, "And I don't see nothing wrong with having a kid." (Warning: The song, which is here, contains a bad word.)

 

The Best Love Song in Which the Object of the Singer's Affection Is Readily Available for Purchase at 7-Eleven

Toby Keith, "Red Solo Cup"

The tough-talking country star's 2011 album, "Clancy's Tavern," contained some of the gentlest material he's done. But Keith saved his most heartfelt declaration for this spirited string-band hoedown, which recently earned an unlikely airing on "Glee." "I love you, red Solo cup," Keith sings of the disposable drinking vessel, before adoringly outlining its attributes ("You're easy to stack") and rather maturely acknowledging its drawbacks ("You're easy to crack"). Before it's over he's even managed to make using the cup sound like part of being a good American: "In 14 years they are decomposable / And unlike my home they are not foreclosable / Freddie Mac can kiss my" — well, you know.

 

The Best Love Song in Which the Object of the Singer's Affection Turns Out to Be the Song Itself

Selena Gomez & the Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Like Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head," the Disney Channel tween star's single compares a great man to a great melody. Or might it be the other way around? "You play through my mind like a symphony," Gomez sings. "There's no way to describe what you do to me." The fun of "Love You Like a Love Song" -- beyond its irresistible electro-disco groove, a typically crafty creation of Mouse House regulars Tim James and Antonina Armato -- is flipping between the two interpretations, imagining Gomez first as a love-struck young lady, then as the world's most glamorous pop critic.

 

The Best Love Song That Today, at Least, Seems Not About Love

Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know”

Before Saturday afternoon, this up-tempo highlight from Houston's self-titled debut felt like an explosion of pop-soul exuberance. (Consult YouTube for a stunning a cappella version of the tune that showcases the vocal character required of our stars in the pre-T-Pain era.) And of course "How Will I Know" will once again resume that happy mantle: No less than Madonna or Michael Jackson, Houston long ago hit the cultural saturation point at which a star's music becomes bigger than a strict reflection of her circumstance. But in the wake of her death, Houston's sunniest hit now sounds washed with melancholy, the words describing an innocent uncertainty that's turned all too definite. Handle with care.

RELATED:

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston 1963-2012

VIDEO: Moviegoers swoon over "The Vow"

Valentine's Day gifts for your own Jedi, Klingon or Timelord

-- Mikael Wood

Photos: Clockwise, Whitney Houston (1986); R. Kelly; Toby Keith. Credits: Clockwise, Associated Press; Los Angeles Times; Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

Adele's '21' poised to tie 'Bodyguard' soundtrack for No. 1

 Adele could tie Whitney Houston for the longevity record at the top of the album chart

This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Adele’s “21” album is that rarity: a collection that’s the nation’s bestseller collecting the album of the year Grammy Award.

The recordings and artists who land the top awards and get significant camera time during the Grammy telecast can count on major sales bumps in the days after the show, which puts “21” in a good position to extend its run at No. 1, now totaling 19 weeks.

Should it hit a 20th week, that will put it in a tie for the all-time chart leader with ... Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack album -- the Grammy album of the year winner for 1993.

PHOTOS: Best and worst at the Grammys

“We had the all-time record with ‘The Bodyguard,’ so this one has a personal impact too,” Clive Davis said last week, before Houston died a few hours before Davis Grammy-eve soiree at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The sales fallout from Sunday’s show won’t fully be reflected in the next Nielsen SoundScan sales report, which covers a sales period from Monday through Sunday. Chart watchers are projecting the new Van Halen album will displace Adele on Wednesday, when the new sales figures are made public, but with the boost “21” will be getting, Adele may well be back at the top of the heap.

And if she scores a 21st week and breaks the tie?

“Records are made to be broken,” Davis said, “so I celebrate Adele achieving all this.”

[FOR THE RECORD, FEB. 28: An earlier version of this post stated that the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” won the Grammy album of the year in 1992. The album was released in 1992 but was honored with the 1993 album of the year Grammy.]  

RELATED:

Full coverage

PHOTOS: Grammy winners

PHOTOS: Grammy Awards red carpet

Adele's magnificent return to the stage

Adele is affirmed, Whitney Houston is grieved

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Adele collecting her Grammy Award for album of the year for "21." Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Whitney Houston remembered -- Sean 'Diddy' Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Hip-hop artist and Bad Boy Records label founder Sean “Diddy” Combs said he “literally [was] in a state of shock” Saturday afternoon when he learned of Whitney Houston’s death.

He was preparing for his role in that evening's festivities and, like many others who took the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy Awards party, wrestled over whether to attend or stay home.

For Combs, the deciding factor was his overriding memory of Houston’s “natural, positive spirit,” which he said “made me kind of get dressed and hopefully made you guys get dressed” and proceed with the event.

PHOTOS: Celebrities react to Whitney Houston's death

Here is the text of Combs’ remarks to the audience:

"We see each other a lot but don’t get a chance to really connect and tell each other how much we appreciate, how much we love and respect each other. I want to give all my love and respect to all my peers that are here. I want to say it tonight, because tomorrow night as you see is not promised.

Continue reading »

Clive Davis on Whitney Houston: 'She loved this night'

  Whitney Houston dead at 48. Click for reactions to her death.

This is the full text of Clive Davis’ remarks to the entertainment industry audience on his decision to go forward with his annual pre-Grammy Awards gala on Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton, a few hours after singer Whitney Houston died in her room at the hotel.

“By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney’s passing. I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends.

"I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life.

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston

"She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform. She loved music and she loved this night that celebrates music.

"My heart goes out to her daughter Bobbi Christina, to her mother Cissy, to all of her relatives and to so many of you here tonight, her extended family who loved and cherished her and her spirit.

"Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years.

PHOTOS: Stars react to Whitney Houston's death

"Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.

"I ask that you join me in a moment of silence as we dedicate this evening to Whitney."

RELATED:

Body moved to morgue

Autopsy planned in next 24 hours

Determining cause of death to take time

Obituary: Troubled pop titan dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Whitney Houston had large entourage with her

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

'The Bodyguard' and beyond; Houston's career in film

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

-- Randy Lewis

Image: Music industry mogul Clive Davis. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Clive Davis: Whitney Houston would have wanted the music to go on

Whitney Houston dead at 48. Click for reactions to her death.

Whitney Houston "would have wanted the music to go on," said industry mogul Clive Davis, who opted to proceed with his annual Grammy-eve party at the Beverly Hilton, where hours earlier the pop icon he signed and mentored was pronounced dead at 48.

"She loved music and she loved this night that celebrates music," said Davis, adding that Houston's family requested that the party continue.

The mood, however, at least at the evening's start, was far from celebratory. Attendees filing into Davis' event hugged one another, wearing dour or dazed expressions, and many were seen shaking their heads, even as music at the hotel thumped loudly. Davis, who spotted a 19-year-old Houston at a showcase in Sweetwaters supper club in Manhattan, has been hosting a pre-Grammy event for more than three decades. Houston was to attend the gala.

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston

The artist, who regularly ruled the pop charts throughout the '80s and '90s, was found unresponsive in her Beverly Hilton room Saturday afternoon, police reported. Fire Department officials were dispatched to the hotel after receiving a 911 call about 3:43 p.m., said a statement from Beverly Hills police.

"By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney’s passing," Davis said at evening's start. "I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform."

He continued, "Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on."

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012

Among those Houston was expected to rub elbows with were Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Akon, Cee Lo Green, Miley Cyrus, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Jennifer Hudson, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall.

The evening early on morphed into a tribute to Houston. Ray Davies preceded a medley of some of the Kinks' signature songs by giving an a cappella reading of the group's benedictory song "Days": "I bless the light that shines on you, believe me / Though you're gone, you're with me every single day, believe me." He proceeded to sing a couple of the Kinks' most elegiac songs: "Waterloo Sunset" and "Celluloid Heroes."

Combs gave a moving talk about Houston, and crooner Bennett drew some applause, as well as some looks of hushed disbelief, when the 85-year-old singer urged the audience to support the legalization of drugs. Houston's 2009 comeback album, "I Look to You," followed nearly a decade of public ups and downs and struggles with illegal substances.

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow reminisced about seeing an early performance of Houston's. Portnow worked for Davis when the latter signed Houston to Arista Records in the early '80s. He said canceling the pre-Grammy ball was "never an option." "We'd have heard Whitney's voice on our shoulders saying, 'Guys, this is show business. The show must go on,' " he said.

PHOTOS: Stars react to Whitney Houston's death

Before the start of the Davis-hosted party, it was announced that Sunday's Grammy Awards would feature a tribute to Houston performed by Jennifer Hudson. "There could be nothing more appropriate than Jennifer Hudson singing Whitney Houston on stage," Portnow said of the decision to tap the young star to honor Houston.

Earlier, Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich said, "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."

Pop & Hiss will have more on Davis' pre-Grammy gala and the reactions to Houston's passing.

[For the record, 8:38 a.m. Feb. 12: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich as Erhlich.]

RELATED:

Body moved to morgue 

Determining cause to take time

Autopsy planned in next 24 hours

Obituary: Troubled pop titan is dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

VIDEO: Six legendary Houston performances

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Hotel guest describes scene at Beverly Hilton

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

Whitney Houston spotted displaying erratic behavior

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

-- Reporting by Randy Lewis, Geoff Boucher and Randall Roberts

Photo: Clive Davis, left, with Sean "Puffy" Combs. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Whitney Houston: 6 performances from the legendary singer [Video]

150064980-11172430

Whitney Houston, who died Saturday in Beverly Hills, burst on the scene with her debut album in February 1985. 

There have been turbulent times in the last decade or so, but Houston's status as one of the top-selling female singers ever is not questioned.

As of 2010, Houston had won the most awards of any female artist ever--415--according to Guinness World Records, including two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012

Here are a few of the performances from the artist often nicknamed "The Voice."

 "I Will Always Love You" (1994)

Houston brought down the house at the 1994 Grammys with her cover of “I Will Always Love You.” The hit song, made popular by the film “The Bodyguard,” also helped land her three Grammys that same year. She won for best female pop vocal performance for the song, as well as album and record of the year for the film’s soundtrack.

"Star-Spangled Banner" (1991)

One of the most popular versions ever sang, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was performed by Houston at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. The single was so touted that it was later released as a single and became the only version of the song to be certified platinum.

"Didn't We Almost Have It All" (1988)

In 1988, stars like Houston and Tracy Chapman traveled to London to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday with a tribute. With Mandela still in prison, the highly political concert was also known as Freedomfest. Before singing “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” Houston told a reporter, “I think [this day] is important to me and a whole world of people. I think it makes them aware that one courageous individual has been in prison for so long and taken away from his family, the closeness of his family, you know, physically."

"That's What Friends Are For" (1987)

Houston took the stage with three fellow giants of popular music, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and her cousin Dionne Warwick, at the 1987 Soul Train Music Awards. Together the makeshift group belted out Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager’s “That’s What Friends Are For” for the crowd.

"Saving All My Love" (1985)

One of Houston's earliest television performances was on David Letterman's show "Late Night," and she sang one of her biggest early hits from her debut album. The songstress had been on "The Merv Griffin Show," but this performance helped spread her early fame.

"I'm Every Woman" (1994 performance)

This hit remake of Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" featured a pregnant Houston on the music video, and became something of a female anthem worldwide, as this performance later in Brazil illustrates. The song, written by songwriting duo Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, was another hit from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack.

RELATED:

Body moved to morgue 

Determining cause to take time

Autopsy planned in next 24 hours

Obituary: Troubled pop titan is dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Hotel guest describes scene at Beverly Hilton

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

Whitney Houston spotted displaying erratic behavior

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

-- Emily Christianson and Jevon Phillips

Photo: Whitney Houston. Credit: Associated Press

Grammys 2012: Whitney Houston tribute to be sung by Jennifer Hudson

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston, who found fame as one of pop’s biggest voices, has died. She was 48.

Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich and his team were scrambling Saturday night to find a poignant and proper way to mark the passing of Whitney Houston and their plan was to have Jennifer Hudson perform a "respectful musical tribute" on the CBS broadcast on Sunday night.

"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," said Ehrlich, a key figure in the Grammys since the early 1980s.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

Ehrlich said it was difficult for him to watch the decline of Houston through the years as addiction and chaos took away too much of her golden success story and her singular voice.

"It's hard to think of an artist who had such an incredible instrument, not to mention beauty, which made her difficulties in recent years even harder to accept," Ehrlich said.

Ehrlich recalled one shaky night in New York when word of Houston's behavior leading up to the award show spurred him to visit her dressing room at Madison Square Garden to gauge her ability to perform -- he marveled to find that she had already pulled herself together.

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston dead at 48

A fonder memory was, in the 1980s, watching Grammy director Walter Miller show the young singer how to walk down a set of "TV stairs" -- they were the first ones she had ever navigated.

"She was like a young filly about to head out on the track for her first race, a race you knew she was not only going to win, but would set any number of records," Ehrlich said.

[For the record, 8:38 a.m. Feb. 12: An earlier version of this post misspelled the last name of Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich as Erhlich.]

RELATED:

Obituary: Troubled pop titan dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

VIDEO: Six legendary Houston performances

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Whitney Houston had large entourage with her

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

'The Bodyguard' and beyond; Houston's career in film

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

Determining how Whitney Houston died expected to take time

-- Geoff Boucher

Photo: Whitney Houston performs at the Anaheim Arena. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Whitney Houston: Voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

Getprev
The voice floats confidently but quietly in the first few lines of Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You," the song for which the superstar vocalist, who died Saturday of unknown causes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, will always be remembered.

"If I should stay I only be in your way," sings Houston in those opening bars, minus any instrumentation, as if into an abyss of loneliness. "So I'll go, but I know I'll think of you every step of the way." 

If you haven't heard it in a while, go back and listen, and wonder at Houston's pure tone, one that at its peak could not only hit a note and gracefully sustain it, but inject it with just enough flair and nuance to reinforce her control without pressing the point. She knew she had a voice. 

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012

She pauses, as if to muster the strength to say what's coming next.

It's two words -- the "I" at the beginning of the line, and the "you" at the end -- held for a few beats longer than most others could sustain but with ironclad control, that seals the deal, a single pair of syllables so convincing that it should have won her both an Oscar and a Grammy. She sings the words differently throughout; at first, it's with love, then with conviction, then with desperation, a drama that unfolds across four minutes. She shaped notes so that they sounded like floating hearts one minute, only to explode as the emotion turned from love to loneliness. 

Fifty-five million records sold. A voice that carried not only Houston's spirit, but the genetic code of gospel-singing mother Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick, with godmother Aretha Franklin's influence. Hearing Whitney's phrasing -- the way in which she breathed the lyrics out -- you could hear both the church and the playground in her.

Though she may be remembered for her ballads -- "Saving All My Love for You," "Greatest Love of All," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" -- she could bring the funk, too. In a landscape in which Michael Jackson and Prince were duking it out for America's affections and George Michael was offering romance, Whitney jumped in with a couple dance-floor bangers that not only brought a defiant confidence but pushed her voice in more gospel-oriented ways: "I'm Every Woman" not only jammed but preached, and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" delivered her message loud and clear. 

As Houston's fame grew beyond radio and onto the screen, where she delivered a blockbuster performance in "The Bodyguard" both as an actor and as the soundtrack's star, we started watching her closer, and as the '90s gave way to the '00s, it soon became evident that something was amiss -- that the delays between albums, her failed appearances and airport security run-ins were starting to affect her talent.

The rest is the train wreck part of her life, and the sad truth is that her memory will forever be tarnished by her addictions. The images that we carry of her are hard to reconcile with the voice. But that's where "I Will Always Love You" comes in. Put it on. Turn it up. Close your eyes. Whitney's voice, mere hours after her death, has already proved it can outlive her body. Even if her humanity couldn't handle that tone, posterity certainly can.  

RELATED:

Full coverage

Obituary: Troubled pop titan dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

VIDEO: Six legendary Houston performances

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Whitney Houston had large entourage with her

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

Whitney Houston spotted displaying erratic behavior

'The Bodyguard' and beyond; Houston's career in film

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

Determining how Whitney Houston died expected to take time

-- Randall Roberts

Photo: Whitney Houston strikes a pose during her performance at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Monday, April 10, 2000, during taping of the "25 Years of #1 Hits: Arista Records' Anniversary Celebration." Credit: Mark J.Terrill / Associated Press

Whitney Houston dead: She was spotted displaying erratic behavior

150064980-11172430
Whitney Houston, who found fame as one of pop’s biggest voices, has died. She was 48.

Houston died Saturday afternoon, a representative for the singer told the Associated Press. Houston’s death comes on the eve of the Grammys and on the night of Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy gala, at which she performed last year and was expected to attend this year.

No cause of death has been announced and law enforcement sources said the singer was found in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton, where emergency medical personnel were called sometime Saturday.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012

The Hilton is the scene for Davis’ annual gala. On Thursday, Houston dropped by the rehearsals to offer vocal tips for Brandy and Monica, who were slated to be one of the evening’s headliners.

Press, including The Times, were in attendance for a junket with the reunited R&B divas and Davis. Though Houston greeted people with a warm smile, she appeared disheveled in mismatched clothes and hair that was dripping wet with either sweat or water.

The visibly bloated singer displayed erratic behavior throughout the afternoon -- flailing her hands frenetically as she spoke to Brandy and Monica, skipping around the ballroom in a child-like fashion and wandering aimlessly about the lobby. It was mentioned by a Grammy staffer that security personnel received calls of the singer doing handstands by the pool.

After leaving rehearsals, Houston returned to the ballroom -- with her teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina in tow -- as camera crews set up for interviews. The singer smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. A Grammy staffer said that during the interviews with Brandy, Monica and Clive, Houston was dancing just off camera to make the singers and Davis laugh. Grammy personnel expressed concern that she'd be caught on camera, and that reporters would write about her behavior.

Finally her daughter pulled Houston out of the room, and the singer skipped off. In our post of the event, we called Houston's behavior "loose and lively."

FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston dead at 48

“She really loves and supports us both. For me, I went through a lot of very tumultuous moments and she would show up, not just with a phone call but physically when I needed,” Monica said when we asked about Houston coaching them. “That's something that I've carried with me, especially with all that she's been going through over the years herself. She's never turned her back on the people she cared about.”

Later that evening Houston appeared at Hollywood nightclub Tru, for fellow R&B singer Kelly Price’s pre-Grammy party. "Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For the Love of R&B" served as both a celebration and a jam session to preserve that genre, which was scaled back from eight categories to four this year.

Houston was billed as one of the evening’s special invited guests but after her appearance earlier it was shocking to see the singer arrive. More put together in her appearance, Houston briefly sang a duet with Price. In what has become her final performance, clips of the two singing a gospel hymn made the rounds because of the singer’s unsteady vocals.

RELATED:

Body moved to morgue

Autopsy planned in next 24 hours

Determining cause of death to take time

Obituary: Troubled pop titan dead at 48 

TIMELINE: Whitney Houston highs and lows

Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes

Whitney Houston had large entourage with her

VIDEO: Watch Houston's earliest TV appearances

PHOTOS: Stars, friends react to the stunning news

'The Bodyguard' and beyond; Houston's career in film

Appreciation: A voice for the ages tarnished by addictions

--Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Whitney Houston. Credit: Associated Press

 

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook



In Case You Missed It...

Video



Recent Posts


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.

Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: