Whitney Houston dead at 48

Whitney Houston, the Grammy award winning singer whose career saw a major decline due to a battle with drugs, passed away earlier today. Cause of death and location were not immediately reported. Her death was confirmed by her publicist.

Houston, the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and niece of pop legend Dionne Warwick (and, as if she didn’t have enough musical karma, the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin), was one of the most popular female solo artists of all time. Over her career she received six Grammy Awards as well as two Emmy awards for her television performances. She sold over 170 million singles and albums.

In 1992 she made her film debut opposite Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard.” The film’s soundtrack won that years Grammy Award as album of the year. Her hit song from the film, a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” is the biggest selling single from a female performer of all time. She also made history when she became the first performer to score seven CONSECUTIVE number one hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart.

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