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Whitney Houston dead at 48


By Sheila Marikar

Whitney Houston, the iconic American singer whose battles with drugs, alcohol and ex-husband Bobby Brown marred her star power, has died. She was 48.

Houston's publicist confirmed the singer's death to ABC News. The cause of death is not yet known.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said the singer died in her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

Police got a 911 call from hotel security at 3:43 p.m, he said. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.

He said the cause of death has not yet been determined.

"No obvious signs of foul play and no obvious signs of a cause of death," Rosen said.

Houston was scheduled to perform in the evening at a pre-Grammy Awards gala at the hotel for producer and mentor Clive Davis. The party went on despite the star's death, and the presence of numerous police vehicles, including the crime lab bus, outside the hotel.

Among the stars and celebrities who showed up for the party were singer Alicia Keyes, actor Tom Hanks, soul legend Gladys Knight, entrpreneur Richard Branson, and jazz great Herbie Hancock.

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