This Saturday, the world was rocked with the unexpected news of music legend Whitney Houston’s death. The unfortunate accident occurred just one day before the 54th annual Grammy Awards, a ceremony that has honored the diva for her achievements numerous times. Last night, singer Jennifer Hudson and host LL Cool J led the audience in paying homage to the pop star for what may be the very last time, with a musical tribute and a heartfelt prayer, respectively.
Saturday evening, the social media landscape was on fire with the breaking news of Houston’s death. Before most major news outlets had reported the story, Facebook and Twitter were ablaze with “R.I.P. Whitney Houston” messages. For the remainder of the evening, the cause of death eluded the public, though most were quick to assume a drug overdose due to the singer’s troubled past. By Sunday, reports had surfaced that Houston had ingested a mixture of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax with alcoholic cocktails, causing her to fall asleep in the bathtub and ultimately drown.
Today, however, a recent statement from law enforcement has been released suggesting that Houston died before she was even underwater. “It looks like it was a lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol, but it’s still too early to rule out other causes. That’s just what it’s looking like now,” an official told Fox News. According to the superstar’s relatives, Houston did not have enough water in her lungs to have drowned.
The singer’s death comes after a full week of widespread boozing and partying, according to reports. The unexpected tragedy has hit the singer’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, especially hard. In the two days following her mother’s death, the 18-year-old had to be rushed to the hospital two separate times, the final time in a straightjacket.
While the public will have to wait up to eight weeks for the official autopsy report, it is not the cause of Houston’s death that is garnering attention. Rather, the music world at large seems to be struggling just to cope with the loss of a woman of such sheer talent. At last night’s Grammy Awards, host LL Cool J opened up the show with a heartfelt prayer that left many in the audience in tears: “There is no way around this. We’ve had a death in our family, and so at least for me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman we love, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston.”
Jennifer Hudson then delivered an emotional tribute to the late star. Taking the stage with nothing but a mic and a spotlight, Hudson offered a moving performance of Houston’s biggest hit, “I Will Always Love You.” On the red carpet, LL Cool J remarked that Grammy producers chose Hudson because of her potential to fill the star’s monumental shoes: “She’s the closest thing we have now to what Whitney was.”