Belfast Telegraph

Whitney Houston dies aged 48

The death of singing legend Whitney Houston has prompted a worldwide outpouring of grief, with tributes paid by some of the biggest names in the music industry.

The death of the 48-year-old Grammy award-winning star, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, was confirmed by her publicist, leaving the entertainment industry and fans around the world in shock.

Los Angeles police said the troubled singer, who had battled with drug addiction, was found in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton.

Houston was due to appear at the LA gala of music's biggest occasion - the Grammy Awards - and had also been at rehearsals for the show, coaching singers Brandy and Monica.

Following the news, fellow celebrities and contemporaries lined up to pay their respects, with describing the star as a "legend" and an "icon".

Mariah Carey, who recorded the duet When You Believe with Houston in 1998, said she was "heartbroken".

"Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston," she wrote on Twitter.

Music mogul Simon Cowell described Houston as "one of the greatest singers of all time", and said he expected tonight's Grammys to become a tribute to the "trailblazer" and "legend".

He told Heart FM: "...you have to remember a lot of the people who are going to be getting awards at the Grammys, they owe an awful lot of their success, I believe, to Whitney, because Whitney was a trailblazer. It's a night she deserves to be remembered fondly."

In a tribute on Twitter, her godmother Aretha Franklin said: "I just can't talk about it now, It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobby Kris, her family and Bobby."

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