Whitney Houston, the beloved pop singer whose music resonates in the hearts of every household, passed away on Saturday night at the age of 48.
Though her more recent past was plagued with a chaotic marriage, depression and drug abuse, Houston’s love of music and elevation of the soul is recognized and appreciated all over the world. Songs like “I Will Always Love You” and “Saving All My Love for You” grace talent shows, films and performances every year.
Houston’s death was discovered on the eve of the Grammy Awards, the biggest night of the year for the music industry. Sunday’s event included many a tribute to the woman who once ruled the stage. Jennifer Hudson, often compared to Houston, sang an emotional tribute at the Awards. Numerous other celebrities expressed respect for the singer and regret of her passing, including Elton John.
Before her death, Clive Davis, Houston’s longtime mentor, said she was expected at the gala, and that she might even perform. “It’s her favorite night of the year,” he said. “Who knows…by the end of the evening.”
Two days before her death, Houston performed “Jesus Loves Me” beside Kelly Price at a pre-Grammy party, where she was said to be in a wonderful mood.
Aretha Franklin, the singer’s godmother, said she was shocked by the news.
“I just can’t talk about it now,” she said. “It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen.”