A tragic fall for the once Queen of Pop with a golden voice and a good-looking bodyguard in Kevin Costner (referring to her commercially successful movie, “The Bodyguard”, in 1992).

Whitney Houston was found dead early today at her room in a Beverly Hills hotel.  The singer’s publicist, Kristen Foster, confirmed the news.  The cause of death was still unknown.

Excerpts from theage.com.au:

At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. 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.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But 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 demeanour 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.

Rest in peace, Whitney.