MUSIC fans were waking to tragic news today - the death of American singer and actress Whitney Houston, aged 48, writes Graham Walker.
Los Angeles police said the troubled singer, who had battled with drug addiction, was found in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton.
The cause of Houston’s death is unclear, but detectives have launched an investigation.
Detectives said paramedics unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the singer, who was pronounced dead at 3.55pm local time.
Tributes have been pouring in for the Grammy award-winning star, who was one of the world’s best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s,
Thousands of South Yorkshire fans filled Sheffield Arena to see Houston, at the heigh of her career, back in November 1993.
Her latest album has just sold 23 million copies, everybody on the planet had seen her major film role opposite Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard and she entertained the crowd to songs including The Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love For You, Wanna Dance With Somebody, I’m Every Woman, Love Will Save The Day and her signature song I Will Always Love You.
During the spectacuar two hour show she introduced her then husband Bobby Brown and eight-month-old baby, Bobbi Kristina Brown, who wore foam yellow earplugs and could not be persuaded to give up sucking the microphone.
Tell us your memories of that night, other live performances and pay your own tribute to the star with a comment at the bottom of this story.
Her career began to unravel as she battled with drug addiction, spending various spells in rehab. Her powerful voice began to suffer because of her demons prompting record sales to nosedive and in 2007 she split from husband Brown after 15-years of marriage.
Last week Houston was pictured looking dishevelled and disorientated as she left a Hollywood nightclub with her daughter Bobbi Kristina after performing at a pre-Grammy party.
News of her death comes on the eve of this year’s Grammys ceremony. Fellow celebrities and contemporaries lined up to pay their respects.
Music mogul Simon Cowell described Houston as “one of the greatest singers of all time”. He wrote on Twitter: “I am so sad to hear about Whitney. We have lost one of the greatest singers of all time.”
Mitch Winehouse, the father of late British singer Amy Winehouse who died last year, also paid tribute to Houston and the recently deceased Etta James on the social networking site, writing: “Amy, Etta, Whitney. Their music will NEVER die. What a great girl group in heaven. Mitch”.
And legendary music producer Quincy Jones said in a written statement: “I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney’s passing. I always regretted not having had the opportunity to work with her. She was a true original and a talent beyond compare. I will miss her terribly.”