Daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, hospitalised after learning of mother's death
Award-winning singer and actress' bodyguard 'found her drowned in bath in her hotel room'
Found under water after mixing a cocktail of prescription drugs with alcohol, it is claimed
I Will Always Love You singer 'partied heavily' in hotel bar on Friday, according to reports
Last appeared in public on Thursday where she looked dishevelled and 'smelled of alcohol'
Star was on 'brink of bankruptcy' having 'frittered away pop fortune on crack cocaine'
Those close to singer 'knew she took Xanax before big shows to calm her down'
Hotel guest on floor below complained night before that 'water was pouring from Miss Houston's bathroom'
Autopsy to be performed today but toxicology tests also required
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Whitney Houston's daughter was reportedly taken to hospital today just hours after her mother was found dead in a hotel bathroom.
Bobbi Kristina, 18, was rushed out of the Beverly Hilton hotel on a stretcher at around 10.30am this morning. She was reportedly suffering from anxiety after learning of the devastating news.
It comes as the first picture emerged today of Whitney Houston's on-off boyfriend Ray-J leaving the hotel with his head in his hands, completely distraught.
Miss Houston drowned alone in a bathtub having accidentally overdosed on a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol after two back-to-back evenings of out-of-control binges, it has been claimed.
The star was found dead under the water by her bodyguard in a luxury hotel suite said to have been littered with bottles of prescription pills. She was 48.
Ray-J mentioned 'missed calls' from Miss Houston, according to the International Business Times, adding: 'We all gotta live with that.'
Paramedics battled to revive the singer but she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm yesterday afternoon, hours before she had been due to perform at a pre-Grammys party at the Beverly Hills Hilton in LA.
At first it was thought that Ray-J had found Miss Houston's body but a statement was later released by his spokesman saying 'he was nowhere near the scene but no less distraught'.
According to reports on gather.com moments before the news broke, Ray-J was seen trying to console Bobbi Kristina, who was screaming, in the lobby of the hotel.
The singer/reality TV star and Whitney Houston dated between 2007 and 2009 but it was believed they had recently picked up their romance after being spotted at an LA restaurant.
Ray-J, 17 years younger than Miss Houston, is the youngest brother of the singer Brandy and made a sex tape with Kim Kardashian in 2003 which was reportedly 'leaked' on to the Internet.
Bottles of Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax and a sleeping medication were found in the hotel room, it has been claimed. The drugs were believed to have acted as sedatives, causing her to fall asleep in the bathtub once they had been mixed with alcohol from the previous evenings.
Scroll down for video of her last performance
The last days of a star: Whitney Houston sweats profusely and appears dishevelled as she leaves the Tru Hollywood nightclub on Thursday night. She partied with a large group of friends before 'clashing' with security guards, right, then being driven away to her hotel, where she died yesterday afternoon
An autopsy is to be carried out today, according to TMZ, but the results will be delayed as toxicology tests must also be run.
As police look into the possibility that the star died from an accidental overdose, there are expected to be emotional scenes at the Grammy awards tonight with many of the singers inspired by Miss Houston dedicating their awards to her.
Miss Houston had battled ravaging addictions to crack cocaine over the years but the drug is not believed to have played a part in her death. Police searched the room for illegal substances after discovering the body.
Her frantic daughter Bobbi Kristina is understood to have got into a 'furious screaming argument' with authorities who refused to let her into the hotel room to see the body of her dead mother. Friends of Miss Houston's cousin Dionne Warwick, who also went to the hotel to try to see the body, have said that she is 'inconsolable'.
Police also turned away Ray-J from Miss Houston's suite on the fourth floor after he raced from his home following news of her death, reported TMZ.
Dearly missed: Whitney Houston and boyfriend Ray J out clubbing in 2006 (left) and with her daughter Bobbi Kristina (right) at mentor Clive Davis's pre-Grammy party last year
Miss Houston's body remained at the hotel today where her family, including her daughter were paying their last respects, according to radaronline. Last night around 800 guests attended a pre-Grammys dinner at the hotel where Miss Houston died.
Outside, fans gathered to mourn the star, leaving floral tributes and lighting candles.
The exact cause of death was not yet known. But on the Thursday evening before her death, the singer went on a wild binge in which she is said to have clashed with security guards. The next evening she 'partied heavily, drank and chatted loudly' with friends at the hotel bar, claims TMZ.
Members of Whitney's entourage were aware that she would take prescription pills, including the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, before big shows to calm her nerves, TMZ has also claimed.
A dark and tragic end: The body of Whitney Houston is wheeled out of the suite of the hotel in Los Angeles where she 'drowned in the bath' following two apparent evenings of out-of-control binges
According to Forbes, the night before Miss Houston's death, a hotel guest on the third floor beneath where the singer's suite of rooms were located, had complained that water was pouring into his bathroom around 2.30am.
It is not known if the destructive spiral played a part in death of the I Will Always Love You singer who had spent more than a decade battling an addiction to crack cocaine since rising to international stardom in the early 90s.
Police have begun searching the hotel room for any signs of illegal drugs. The circumstances of the death are not thought to be suspicious but the authorities are investigating.
WHAT IS XANAX?
As the singer's body lay on the fourth floor, stars including Britney Spears, Tony Bennett and Kim Kardashian were taking part in the pre-Grammy Awards party at the hotel.
Miss Houston had been due to attend the event which was organised by her mentor Clive Davis.
The surreal scene inside the hotel event unfolded with Mr Davis paying tribute to the singer, before saying: 'Now ladies and gentlemen, let the music begin.' Stars paid tribute to her throughout the evening.
Grammy president and CEO Neil Portnow, who called Houston a friend, said 'canceling the party was never an option.' He announced that Jennifer Hudson would perform a tribute to Houston at Sunday's Grammys.
News of the death brought a string of public tributes from the music industry today. Simon Cowell said Houston was a 'true diva' with 'one of the best voices I have heard in my life ever'.
Rihanna tweeted that she was 'in tears' while Mariah Carey said that she was 'heartbroken' over the loss of her friend.
Alone: It has been claimed that Whitney Houston was found under the water in her bathtub, similar to this one at the Beverly Hills Hilton in LA
A coroner's van leaves the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, this morning where Whitney Houston was found dead. She is said to have 'drowned in the bathtub'
The corridor on the fouth floor of the hotel close to the room where Miss Houston died. Right, mourners gather at a makeshift memorial on the corner of Santa Monica and Wiltshire Boulevards
Sombre: The scene outside the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, California today where Miss Houston was found dead in a suite on the fourth floor
Scene: A police van pulls up outside the Hilton after Houston's death. Right, officers gather outside the hotel as an investigation begins into the causes of death
MUSIC STARS' WHITNEY TRIBUTES
Mitch Winehouse, the father of late Amy Winehouse who died last year after a public battle with class A drugs, paid tribute to Miss Houston on Twitter, writing: 'Amy, Etta, Whitney. Their music will NEVER die. What a great girl group in heaven. Mitch'.
Winehouse, who was in Los Angeles when he heard the news, also said he was 'absolutely devastated'.
The Saving All My Love singer's publicist Kristen Foster confirmed that the singer had died. A spokesman for the local police department said that emergency services had been called to the hotel at 3.43pm on Saturday, arriving minutes later.
Officials rushed to the room on the fourth floor where she was staying as a guest, where they found security staff and firemen attempting to revive her using CPR. Life-saving attempts proved unsuccessful after 20 minutes, and she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.
Authorities are currently trying to determine a cause of death, the spokesman added.
Police are understood to be seeking a search warrant to sift through the hotel room for any signs of drugs. Some reports said that Houston had been found by her on-off boyfriend Ray J, but that turned out to be mistaken.
Her ex-husband Bobby Brown - whom Miss Houston blamed partly for her drug issues - was said to be 'in and out of crying fits' upon hearing the news - but still appeared on stage on Saturday with his band New Edition, and cried out 'I love you, Whitney!' in the middle of the concert.
A relative of Brown said Houston’s former husband is struggling to cope with the news.
‘He was sobbing, and by the end of the call, I was sobbing, too,’ the family member told People magazine. ‘He's beside himself right now.’
Singer Johnny Gill, one of Brown's New Edition bandmates, is on tour in Memphis with the star. ‘Bobby is struggling and he's devastated,’ he told CNN.
Houston's mother Cissy apparently spoke to her daughter just half an hour before her death, and did not think anything was wrong.
And in the star's last interview in November, she said she was 'older and matured' - and described her 18-year-old daughter as her 'greatest inspiration'.
Houston won six Grammy awards, two Emmys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among others awards.
Her album Whitney in 1985 was the first album by a woman to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold more than 170million albums worldwide.
The album also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit - a stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, which sat atop the charts for weeks and featured in The Bodyguard in 1992.
It was Grammy record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the Bodyguard soundtrack was named album of the year.
More recently Miss Houston had just completed a role in the musical Sparkle, in which she played the mother to Jordin Sparks, who has the role of a singer.
The film is set to be released in August and tells the story of three sisters who form a successful group learning to cope with the fallout of fame and drugs.
For the most part, the star's life had spiralled downhill since her early hits. She suffered a long battle with drugs, including cocaine, as well as alcohol and spent various spells in rehab.
Recent appearances had become increasingly erratic and the years of substance abuse had clearly taken a toll.
She cancelled a string of concerts and talk shows as she struggled to cope. In a chat show with Oprah in 2003, the star admitted the scale of her addiction to smoking crack cocaine.
'It was every day, every,' she said. 'I didn't think about the singing part of it any more.'
Her powerful voice began to suffer because of her demons prompting record sales to nosedive and in 2007 she split from husband Bobby Brown after 15 years of marriage.
Recent reports suggested that the soul star was on the brink of bankruptcy, with her pop fortune said to have dwindled away, much of it going to her drug dealers.
There was further concern for her health last week when she was pictured looking dishevelled and disorientated as she left a Hollywood nightclub with her daughter Bobbi Kristina after performing at a pre-Grammy party. The singer had was sweating profusely, had blood on her leg and scratches on her wrists.
Paying respects: Reverend Jesse Jackson arrives at The New Hope Baptist Church where Whitney Houston sang in the choir to mourn the death of the singer in Newark, New Jersey
Before her death she was approached by Simon Cowell and asked to consider becoming a judge on the next season of the U.S. X-Factor.
Today, Cowell said paid tribute to Ms Houston and said the warning signs that she ‘still had problems’ came after the singer made an erratic appearance on the X Factor in 2009. The performance was to promote a new album after seven years off the scene.
The music mogul, 52, said: ‘There are always moments in your life that are horrible to remember. The day John Lennon died, the day Elvis died. More recently Michael Jackson, last year Amy Winehouse and now Whitney.
‘I know quite a few people who had been working with her over the years. We all knew Whitney had issues.
‘I last met her when she came on the X Factor. You could see at the time there were still a few problems but she was a delight to work with on the day.'
The guest appearance on X Factor - her first UK TV appearance for 12 years - was billed as the start of her comeback but the worrying performance raised concerns for her wellbeing and she suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when her dress straps snapped.
Comfort: Singer Alicia Keys consoles Miss Houston's long-time mentor Clive Davis, also the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainmen
The show must go on: Davis decided to continue with the party, despite his protege's tragic passing. Kim seen right with actress Jane Fonda and, right, Diana Ross with Berry Gordy
Miss Houston then embarked on her Nothing But Love World Tour tour in 2010, but the UK leg was beset by cancellations. She was forced to reschedule the first three dates in Manchester and Glasgow after picking up a respiratory infection. She finally played her first UK gig in 11 years at the Birmingham LG Arena.
The talent show judge told Sky: ‘She probably wasn’t all together but it was still Whitney Houston and you were in the presence of a legend and I will never forget that day.
'There are so few people like her in the world. They are a rarefied breed, these are true superstar legendary divas, but I say diva that in the nicest possible way. She had one of the best voices I heard in my life ever.’
A family meal: Miss Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina, left, and her ex-husband Bobby Brown get into a car after an evening out at Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills on February 2. Right, the singer joins her family after what will have been one of their last nights out together
Speaking to CNN, Cowell said Houston was the benchmark contestants on his reality shows had always tried to reach. He also revealed he was going to discuss the possibility of the late singer potentially joining the judging panel of the American X Factor with producers next week.
'Whitney - ever since I've been doing this job, particularly doing talent shows over the last 10 years, the number one singer anyone ever wanted to emulate, if they really wanted to be a superstar, it was always Whitney,' he said.
Former Boyzone star Ronan Keating also said the severity of the singer's problems had become apparent two years ago at the start of her comeback.
He told Sky: 'I'm devastated. I cannot believe it. It's hard to believe she's gone. Another legend, we've lost another singer, probably the greatest singer the world has ever seen.
What she'll be remembered for: Looking radiant in a white one-shouldered dress, Houston gives an incomparable performance at the peak of her career when she was one of the world's most popular singers
Bowing out: Miss Houston lowers her head to the crowd during the superstar-quality performance
TRIBUTES: SHOWBIZ AND BEYOND
'It's very sad to see the tough times in her life. I saw her two years ago when she was trying to make her comeback and I could see that she was weathered and you could see that she had been through tough time but you could see the voice was still there and she was trying.
'She was a family person. She loved her family dearly. She loved what she did. She loved her work and she was adamant that she was going to get back.
'She will be remembered for that one track, I will Always Love You. What a song and I will always remember the movie the bodyguard. Thank god we still have the voice, and that's documented. She will be in our lives forever because of that.'
Asked if the music industry does enough to look after vulnerable performers, he said: 'It's about the people you surround yourself with. She really got involved in bad situations and the wrong crowd of people who led her down the wrong road.'
Celebrities, from singers and rappers to television personalities and business leaders, took to Twitter to express their sadness at the news.
Stars praised the singer's unmatched talent and passed on their wishes to her bereaved family, while others expressed their shock at how the award-winning singer passed away at the age of just 48.
'Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston,' said Mariah Carey, who recorded the Oscar-winning song When You Believe with the late star in 1998.
'My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.'
'Shocked we've lost the immensely talented Whitney Houston!' wrote fellow singer Gloria Estefan.
‘Sending prayers of peace & solace 2 her family, friends & fans! Such a loss! Such an amazing talent!'
Rihanna tweeted: 'No words! Just tears. I honestly can't think of anything else!!! Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!'
Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb added his condolences, saying: 'In my estimation we have lost one of the greatest voices in popular music today...but as we always learn too late....we never cherish it until it's gone. My thoughts are with her family.'
But it was not just the music industry that felt the influence of Houston, with other celebrities expressing their condolences and thanks to the award-winning singer.
One high-profile figure to speak out was Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, who said: 'R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.'
News of Houston's death came on the eve of one of the biggest nights in music - the Grammy Awards.
Child: Houston, pictured in 1965, was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin
Duet: Houston sings with Jermaine Jackson during rehearsals for a TV performance in 1984
Film: In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with 'The Bodyguard'. The story of a singer guarded by a former Secret Service agent was a success
Award success: Houston collects one of the many accolades she received throughout her career. She was a frequent winner at the Grammys and other high-profile award ceremonies
Famous friend: South African President Nelson Mandela and Whitney Houston smile for photographers in Johannesburg
Relatives: In this January 1998 photo, singer Houston, left, celebrates her win at the American Music Awards with her mother, Cissy, and brother, Gary, in Los Angeles
Successor: Houston with Mariah Carey, one of the young singers who followed in her wake
Relationship: Houston performs with singer Bobby Brown, left. Their turbulent marriage was the subject of tabloid gossip for years
Odd friendship: Winfrey and Brown met with Israel's prime minister Ariel Sharon on a trip to the Middle Eastern country in 2003
Family: Houston, centre, poses with her former husband, singer Bobby Brown, right, and their daughter Bobbi, left, at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in August 2004
It's a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday's ceremony.
Her longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner on Saturday, and a representative of the show said it would proceed.
SALES OF HITS EXPECTED TO SOAR
Houston was supposed to appear at the gala, and Davis had said that she would perhaps perform: 'It's her favorite night of the year... who knows, by the end of the evening.'
Producer Jimmy Jam, who had worked with Houston, said he anticipated the evening would become a tribute to her, and he expected there to be one at the Grammys as well.
After her death, the executive in charge of the awards issued a statement expressing sadness at the star's death.
'Six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston was one of the world's greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades,' Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, said.
'Her powerful voice graced many memorable and award-winning songs. A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice.'
Music stars including Alecia Keys and the rapper P Diddy paid tribute to Miss Houston during the evening.
Ray Davies and Elvis Costello took to the stage to perform as Los Angeles county coroner's Capt. John Kades arrived at the hotel. Alicia Keys arrived earlier and embraced Davis as he prepared for the show under extreme duress.
With celebrities including Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson in attendance, a somber Davis, reading from a sheet of paper, said: 'I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me. She was full of life, looking forward for tonight. She loved music and she loved this night that celebrated music.'
He added: 'Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage ... so many times. So simply put: Whitney would have wanted the music to go on.'
He dedicated the evening to her and asked for a moment of silence as a photo of the 48-year-old, hands wide open, looking to the sky, appeared on the screen.
Then, he said with excitement: 'Now ladies and gentlemen, let the music begin.'
Bennett, the evening's first performer, recounted other recent big-name deaths in the music industry.
'First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent Whitney Houston,' he said. 'Let's legalize drugs, like Amsterdam. It's a very sane city now.'
He added that Houston was 'the greatest singer I've ever heard in my life.'
The scene was somewhat surreal given Houston's shocking death only earlier in the day. But Grammy president and CEO Neil Portnow, who called Houston a friend, said 'canceling the party was never an option.'
'A lot of us holding hands tonight, on each other's shoulders ... We'll be celebrating,' he said. 'The legacy she left will be here forever.'
'Whitney Houston, simply put, had the greatest voice of the world,' he told the crowd.
'Hearing her sing was like listening to magic. ... We lost an angel, and anytime we think of Whitney, we have to remember the positivity she gave us, when she performed, she performed 5,000 percent. She wasn't a hater, she was a congratulator.'
R&B singers Monica and Brandy, heavily influenced by Houston, were supposed to perform together at the event, but Davis said the singers were 'too heart-stricken.'
'I know the role Whitney played in their lives. Thank you for staying,' he said.
Miss Houston performs on stage during Michael in New York's Madison Square Garden 2001. Her emaciated appearance led to rumours she had died the next day. Right, a year later, again in New York, the singer was still struggling with a troubled relationship and cocaine abuse
The I Will Always Love You singer suffers a waldrobe malfunction on the X Factor in 2009 in what was supposed to be the start of her comeback tour. Many of the subsequent shows were later cancelled
Danni Minogue, left, Simon Cowell, Whitn
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