Her publicist, Kristen Foster, confirmed Houston's passing Saturday just hours before the singer was expected to perform at Clive Davis's annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton.
"I can confirm that Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel," she said.
Just yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter published news that Houston was about to begin a new chapter of her life--on Television. The pop diva, who performed on the U.K. version of The X Factor in October 2009, is said to have been approached to join the Fox talent series.
News of Houston's death came on the eve of music's biggest night — the Grammy Awards. It's a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday's ceremony. Houston's longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.
Soap viewers may recall an early public appearance by Ms. Houston with Jermaine Jackson on AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1984. As with many entertainers, soaps have been a medium to gain wide exposure, accolades, and appreciation. Houston garnered much acclaim from her role, which led to her first single, "Saving All My Love For You," hitting the Billboard charts just months after appearing in Oakdale.
Today, Whitney Houston is known as the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records, with 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010.
"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
We hope that readers today will take a moment to mourn for this tragic loss, remember the great memories given to us by Ms. Houston, and extract the lessons we all know too well: Relationships are temporary, life is precious; make the most of every moment you have.
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