It has been reported that the American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48. Her publicist, Kristen Foster, delivered the sad news to AP News but was unable to confirm the location or cause of her death. A family spokesman has since confirmed the news. Whitney Houston was considered to have one of the finest voices in modern history and was regarded as one of the most celebrated female singing acts of all time. She turned to acting in the middle of her singing career and was a huge success in films such as The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale. Later on in her life however, her successes both in her singing career and in the movies were overshadowed by her forays into drugs and her somewhat turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
The news of Houston’s death has come on the eve of America’s biggest night where music is concerned – The Grammysare due to be hosted on Sunday. In her heyday, Houston would typically rule the coveted award show and her death is certain to cause a great sadness over the nights events. Houston had most of her success in singing and acting in the 80’s and 90’s where she was considered to be an inspiration for many other young singers such as Rihanna and Maria Carey. She came from a gospel background and was thought to be the ideal role model for young women, neither overtly sexy but with sex appeal and poise. She was the perfect pop icon. Her fall from grace came when she gave concerts after she had just been released from rehab and many of her closest friends and family thought it was too soon for her to be performing again. Appearing dishevelled and with her voice not up to par, she was constantly booed off the stage and many people demanded their ticket money back.
Coming from a musical family background, with her mother Cissy Houston singing gospel and her cousin the singer Dionne Warwick, she was also goddaughter to Aretha Franklin, it was not surprising that she went into the music business. But she paid a high price for her fame. She said in a famous interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2002, “The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.” It seems the devil got her in the end.