What caused Whitney Houston’s shocking, sudden death at just 48? After the tragic singer’s body was found at the Beverly Hills Hilton on Saturday, loved ones and fans alike were stunned. But insiders tell People magazine Whitney had been troubled in her final days.
“Her voice was ruined, and her comeback wasn’t what it was supposed to be, because her voice wasn’t what it used to be,” a source said of the record-breaking, Grammy-winning superstar who had publicly discussed her past struggles with substance abuse.
The singer, who had recently filmed “Sparkle” with former “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, “was in pain from all the pressure she was facing,” the source revealed. “I know from when she was recording her most recent album — her comeback album [‘I Look to You’ in 2009] — her voice was shot. That bothered her.”
According to TMZ, Whitney, who had been scheduled to perform at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party Saturday night, was found by a member of her entourage in the bathtub of her hotel room, with her face below the water. Although a bodyguard allegedly attempted to revive her, her body was reportedly cold by the time she was found — after being in the bathroom for more than an hour.
Hotel staff reportedly told the paparazzi site that Whitney “partied heartily” with pals at the bar the night before her death. She was allegedly taking the prescription medication Xanax, which can have a sedative effect when combined with alcohol. Police are said to have recovered a half-dozen pill bottles, including Xanax, from her hotel room.
Autopsy results will reportedly be deferred pending toxicology test results.
Bobby Brown, Whitney’s former husband of 15 years, is said by a People source to have been “beside himself” with grief after learning of her death Saturday — but he was still determined to perform a scheduled concert with his reunited group New Edition.
He was “in and out of crying fits” after getting the news, TMZ sources say.
Bobby declared his love for Whitney during the show and paused several times to compose himself after breaking down in tears, People reports.
The couple, who had a famously tumultuous relationship, married in 1992 and separated in 2006; their divorce was finalized the following year. They have one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 18. She was taken by paramedics from the hotel to nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday suffering from anxiety, Beverly Hills police and fire officials said.
“Her world will be shattered,” a source told Us magazine of the teen. “She was really her mom’s caretaker and biggest cheerleader and biggest fan ... I don’t know how she will be able to go on.”
Tributes to Whitney
In the wake of Whitney’s sudden death, the music world mourned the loss of one of its greatest talents.
“It’s a tragedy,” Tony Bennett tweeted. “Whitney Houston was the greatest singer I’ve ever heard and she will be truly missed.”
“She’s a sister to me,” Alicia Keys said, according to E! “We had a kindred sisterhood.”
Dolly Parton, whose song “I Will Always Love You” became Whitney’s signature, said in a statement, “I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.’”