Sad news: legendary singer Whitney Houston died Saturday of undisclosed causes, according to the AP. The Grammy Award-winning performer and star of The Bodyguard and The Preacher's Wife was forty-eight.
Although the cause and location of Houston's death are as yet unknown, Houston's publicist confirmed news of her passing Saturday, and TMZ is reporting that she may have died at the Beverly Hills Hilton, where a police crime lab vehicle was found this afternoon.
As one of the top-selling artists in pop music history and the first female singer to have an album debut at Number One on the pop charts, Houston dominated the pop music scene from the '80s to the mid-'90s, achieving instant success with her 1985 debut album Whitney Houston. The six-time Grammy Award and two-time Emmy Award winner battled drug and alcohol addiction for years, retreating from the spotlight after she appeared erratic and confused in an infamous 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer.
After two stints in rehab and the end of her tumultuous marriage to R&B star Bobby Brown in 2007, Houston attempted to stage a comeback, proclaiming that she was drug-free during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Although her last album, 2009's I Look to You, eventually went platinum, rumors of relapse plagued her after she canceled a number of shows on her world tour, citing illness. Audience members also reported that the singer had lost her prized three-octave range, and that her voice sounded tired and raspy.
But of course, today we shouldn't be remembering the Whitney of the past few years. We should be remembering her as she was in 1998: sexy, sassy, scarily talented, and relentlessly fierce. So R.I.P., Ms. Houston. Hope you're up in diva heaven, showing everyone who the queen bee is.