Whitney Houston dead at 48
By Sheila Marikar
Whitney Houston, the iconic American singer whose battles with drugs, alcohol and ex-husband Bobby Brown marred her star power, has died. She was 48.
Houston’s publicist confirmed the singer’s death to ABC News. Her cause and location of death are not yet known. Six police cars were spotted in front of her Beverly Hills, CA, home today.
Houston was last seen publicly on Thursday, when she appeared disheveled and disoriented in front of a Hollywood nightclub. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she got into an altercation with “X Factor” finalist Stacy Francis on Thursday at an event where she was said to be acting “belligerent.”
Houston returned to rehab in May of last year seeking treatment for drug and alcohol dependence. “Whitney voluntarily entered the program to support her long-standing recovery process,” her publicist said at the time.
The six-time Grammy winner staged a comeback in 2009, but was dogged by rumors that she was using drugs again. That year, she told Oprah Winfrey that marijuana laced with cocaine was her substance of choice during her 1992 to 2006 marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown. They have a daughter together, Houston’s only child, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.
Houston’s appearance on “Oprah” was her first major television interview since 2002, when she talked to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
At the time, Sawyer asked Houston about ongoing drug rumors that had started in 2000, when airport security guards found marijuana in Houston and Brown’s bags at a Hawaiian airport. The singer alluded to having used cocaine, pills and marijuana — but drew the line at crack in what turned into an infamous rant.
“First of all, let’s get one thing straight,” she told Sawyer. “Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight. Okay? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is wack.”
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