On Thursday night, PPLA was invited to attend the Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For the Love of R&B Grammy party at Tru Hollywood, where Whitney Houston was rumored to attend. The six time Grammy winner did make an appearance and took the stage to sing a brief rendition of Yes, Jesus Loves Me- a performance that would sadly be her last. The singer was found dead less than two days later in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
The tragic news traveled quickly. Houston, who was staying at the hotel and was scheduled to perform at this evening’s Clive Davis Grammy party, was pronounced dead just before four o’clock this afternoon. While details are being kept under wraps as an investigation ensues, police officials announced via a press conference that they received a call that Houston was unconscious in her hotel room. Emergency crews were summoned and attempted to resuscitate the star but were unable to succeed in saving her. Reports say no obvious signs of ‘criminal intent” were present.
Her death comes among reports of belligerent behavior and hard partying at the Kelly Price party. At press time, no conclusion had been solidified if drugs or alcohol played a role in Houston’s death. Her struggle with sobriety and her tumultuous marriage and 2007 divorce from Bobby Brown- both of which have been well publicized the last few years- have created room for speculation. However, the singer was said to be clean following her latest stint in rehab in 2010.
In other rumors, industry insiders have been speculating for days that Houston had been offered a coveted judges seat on X Factor and it’s no doubt she would have had a tremendous impact on the show. Her final project includes a role playing the mother of show biz sisters in the film Sparkle, (a remake of the 1976 film based loosely on The Supremes) which is set to release this August through Sony. Houston’s final recordings will also be heard on the film’s soundtrack.
Houston is a six-time Grammy winner and was nominated for 26 Grammy’s in her career. Her hits which sold more than 55 million records in the U. S. alone include the likes of “One Moment in Time”, “I Want to Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, and her take on Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. Houston also made her mark on the silver screen with films including The Body Guard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher’s Wife.
Possibly the most eerie of all the circumstances, the annual Clive Davis Grammy concert and dinner still went on as scheduled this evening at the hotel were Houston was found. Davis, who was a long-time mentor and friend to Houston, surely plans to use the night as a tribute to the singer who was loved by so many. Houston’s family made an announcement saying that she would have wanted ‘the show to go on’.
As for tomorrow night’s Grammy’s, the mood will definitely have shifted and changes in the program are sure to occur. It is expected to become a celebration of Houston’s life and music and there will not be a dry eye in the house or watching at home. Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan are planning to perform and there is no doubt the list of singers paying their respects will continue to grow.
There are no words that can truly sum up the impact Houston had on the music industry and the world. Her fans and popularity rival that of Michael Jackson, another icon who was taken too soon, and she can surely be called one of the best female voices in history. Fans and friends have already expressed their heartbreak through Twitter and social media. One thing is for certain; she will be missed and remembered.
We will always love you, Whitney!