WHAT an irony! The event she was billed to compere turned out to be the platform to announce her obituary and celebrate her illustrious music career.
The global music industry yesterday celebrated the life of Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston at the Los Angeles hotel where she was found dead.
Houston’s mentor, producer and longtime friend, Clive Davis, memorialised her Saturday night at his pre-Grammy Gala, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
A somber Davis said, “Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.” Each performer paid individual tributes to Houston.
Several hundred kilometers away in Mississippi, the Associated Press quotes Houston’s ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, as saying before a performance Saturday, “I would like to say, I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.”
Police say Houston was pronounced dead late Saturday afternoon in her fourth floor room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Beverly Hills police spokesman Mark Rosen says officers and medical personnel were at Houston’s room within minutes after getting a call for an emergency.
“We were on scene within about two minutes, the fire department was actually here sooner than that,” said Rosen. “They were on scene for the pre-Grammy party. Fire department and hotel security found her in her room unresponsive. They attempted resuscitation measures. They were not successful. At 3:55p.m., Whitney Houston was pronounced dead in her hotel room at the Beverly Hills Hilton.”
Officials say an attempt was made to resuscitate Houston by the emergency personnel who rushed to her room. Police say the cause of her death has not been determined. They have said there was no obvious sign of criminal intent.
Houston’s death comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where the six-time Grammy winner had gathered with hundreds of artists for Sunday’s programme.
The organizers of the Grammys said that Grammy award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson will pay tribute to Houston during Sunday’s broadcast.
Reactions to Whitney Houston’s death continue to pour in. Music producer Jimmy Jam said it is ironic Houston’s death occurred before the Grammys.
“You remember the first time you saw Whitney on stage singing was probably at this event. And so the irony of that is just crazy..so it’s tragic,” he said.
Legendary singer Tony Bennett said Houston was the “greatest singer I ever heard.”
Another singing legend, Smokey Robinson, told CNN Houston was “one of the greatest singers to ever open her mouth.”
Condolences and reactions from celebrities and everyday fans are also pouring in to social network sites.