While the details are not yet known, legendary singer Whitney Houston has been reported dead at age 48, according to her publicist. The shocking news comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards, and in fact, many media outlets reported Houston leaving a Grammy party last night in very bad condition.

According to The Insider, Houston had too many cocktails at club Tru Hollywood, where she danced and performed at the Kelly Price & Friends ‘Unplugged: For The Love Of R&B’ Grammy party. When she left the venue, Houston got into a shouting match with paparazzi outside. Photogs were able to capture a red substance dripping from her leg, which gossip bloggers have speculated was blood, but we are not totally sure.

At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."

She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

--CBS News




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