A Peerless Voice: The Death of Whitney Houston


By Cindy Ortiz

Whitney Houston.

American recording artist, Jennifer Hudson, performed “I Will Always Love You“ at the Grammys last night in tribute to the queen of glamour, music, and beauty, Whitney Houston, who died on Saturday afternoon in an L.A. hotel room. But do we know the cause of her death?

“[Doing drugs] was an everyday thing…. I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day,” Houston said in a 2010 Oprah Winfrey interview, according to a New York Post article.

In the interview, she blamed her drug abuse on her rough marriage with singer Bobby Brown. They married in 1993 and divorced in 2007.

Houston, music sensation of the ‘80s and ‘90s, was to attend a Clive Davis pre-Grammy party only three floors below her hotel room at the Beverly Biltmore on Saturday, reports say.

Her concerned hairdresser, stylist, and bodyguards in her hotel room noticed Houston had been in her bathroom for about an hour. Her hairdresser checked Houston and found her face underneath water in the bathtub, a TMZ report says.

The cause of death is still unknown. Beverly Hills detectives did not find any signs of criminal intent in the hotel room, said Lt. Mark Rosen. Houston’s body has been transported to get an autopsy, he added.

Reports and celebrities opine that drug abuse was a factor of her death. Autopsy reports have not yet been released.

Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police department said in a press conference on Saturday that they received a medical aid phone call at 3:43 p.m. on Saturday. After being resuscitated by paramedics, “Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.,” said Lt. Rosen.

Houston was known for her top hits such as, “I Will Always Love You,” and “I’m Every Woman,” but her sales plummeted when she stopped releasing albums for some time. Rumors turned into reports about her drug abuse.

In a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, she denies using cocaine and being anorexic. She did admit, however, that she had poor eating habits and that she would deal with her problems not with drug use, but by staying in her room for hours.

In the interview, Sawyer showed a photo of Houston in concert and pointed to her thin body while hinting anorexia, but Houston repeatedly said that she has always been a thin woman.

Sony Music Entertainment released a statement on the passing of Houston posted on her website: “…She had a voice of unmatched beauty and power that changed music forever, and she leaves behind an indelible legacy of timeless songs that will never be forgotten….”

Houston’s last performance was on Feb. 9 at a Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged Grammy party in Los Angeles, reports Entertainment Weekly. Together, they sang “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.

Cindy Ortiz graduated last year with a B.A. in Journalism from Biola University. She was born and raised in Glendale, Calif., and currently lives in Burbank. You can reach her at ortiz.cindy.m@gmail.com.

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