Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, has died at the age of 48.
Police responded to an emergency call at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles at about 3:45 p.m. PT, said Lt. Mark Rosen with the Beverly Hills police. Paramedics who were already at the hotel because of a Grammy party rushed to Houston's fourth-floor suite and attempted to revive her but they were unsuccessful, Rosen told KABC-TV.
Houston was pronounced dead just before 4 p.m., Rosen said. Her body remained at the hotel while detectives were investigating.
"There were no obvious signs of any criminal intent," Rosen said.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, said the cause of death was unknown.
Her death came on the eve of music's biggest night the Grammy Awards. It's a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to cast a heavy pall on Sunday's ceremony.
Houston's longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday, and a representative of the show said it would proceed.
Producer Jimmy Jam, who had worked with Houston, said he anticipated the evening would become a tribute to her, and he expected there to be one at the Grammys as well.