She was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel before she was due to attend a Grammy pre-awards party.
Grammy host LL Cool J started proceedings with a prayer honouring her memory and Jennifer Hudson took to the stage to sing Whitney Houston’s best-known hit I Will Always Love You during the annual in memoriam segment to celebrate the lives of other musicians who have died in the past year.
Musicians took to Twitter to voice their thoughts. Dolly Parton, who wrote I Will Always Love You, said: “I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.”
Mariah Carey wrote that Whitney “will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth”, while P Diddy, Justin Bieber and Aretha Franklin also shared their condolences.
Whitney Houston rose to fame in the 1980s, although she came from a musical family. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, cousin of Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin was her godmother.
She went from singing in church to releasing her first self-titled album in 1985 when the songs Saving All My Love for You and Greatest Love of All made her an instant star.
A second album followed two years later, called Whitney, which included the track I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me), firmly placing the diva alongside other great female vocalists.
In 1992 she turned her talent to the screen, acting in The Bodyguard and recording a number of tracks from the soundtrack including I Will Always Love You.
She then went on to have a brief acting career before returning to recording in 1998 with her comeback album My Love is Your Love.
In 2002 she made another return with Just Whitney and released a Christmas album a year later, before releasing her final studio album I Look to You in 2009, which was not as well-received as her past efforts.
Her private life of drug and alcohol misuse, as well as her tempestuous marriage to Bobby Brown has often made the headlines rather than her music.
What is your reaction to Whitney Houston’s death? Were the tributes at the Grammys and on Twitter spot on?
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