Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, has died. She was 48.
Publicist Kristen Foster said today that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unclear.
At her peak in the 1980s and 90s, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry and one of the world's best-selling artists.
Dead: Whitney Houston, who has died aged 48, was a huge success for more than two decades
Performance: Throughout the 80s and 90s, Houston was one of the world's most popular singers
She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Among her hits were How Will I Know, Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. She won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies like The Bodyguard.
But by the end of her career, drug use took its toll as her record sales plummeted and her voice became raspy and hoarse.
Early success: Houston posts with a Grammy award at the annual ceremony in 1988
Relationship: Houston's turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown was the subject of tabloid gossip for years
Her image became tarnished by her well-documented troubles, including her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
By the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances.
She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
'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.