Celebrated American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died aged just 48 after being found unconscious in her room at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California yesterday afternoon. According to a statement from the police, there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent”, and the cause of death is to be investigated.
Born in New Jersey in 1963, Houston began her musical career as a backing singer in the late-1970s and worked as a model before signing her first record deal in 1983, resulting in the release of her self-titled debut album two years later. Houston enjoyed huge success during the late 1980s, becoming one of the highest-earning and most celebrated singers of the decade, which led to a number of offers from Hollywood studios. She eventually made her feature acting debut in 1992, starring alongside Kevin Costner in the smash-hit The Bodyguard, which also spawned the hugely successful single, ‘I Will Always Love You’, a cover of a Dolly Parton single first recorded in 1973.
Following the success of The Bodyguard, Houston went on to appear in a further three movies – Waiting to Exhale (1995), The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and the TV musical Cinderella (1997) – but much of her later career was dominated by media coverage of her tempestuous marriage to fellow R&B singer Bobby Brown, and reports of substance abuse. However, after her divorce from Brown, Houston released a 2009 comeback album, I Look to You, and had also recently produced and starred in Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name, which is currently scheduled for an August release in North America.