American diva Whitney Houston loses battle
Singer found dead in hotel room at the age of 48
For some the question was not "how and why did she die?" but rather "How did she manage to live as long as she did?" America's preeminent Woman of Song Whitney Houston apparently lost her ongoing battle with substance abuse and was discovered dead in as Beverly Hills hotel room. She was 48.
Dogged by substance abuse problems in the final years of her life, this photo was taken less than two days before Whitney Houston's death.
-- Houston's 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina has been hospitalized twice since her mother's death.
-- Houston's bodyguard "found her drowned in bath in her hotel room."
-- Houston was found under water after mixing a cocktail of prescription drugs with alcohol, it is claimed.
-- The "I Will Always Love You" singer "partied heavily" in the hotel bar's on Friday, according to reports.
-- Houston last appeared in public on Thursday where she looked disheveled and "smelled of alcohol."
-- The Award-winning star was on "brink of bankruptcy" having "frittered away pop fortune on crack cocaine."
-- The hotel guest on floor below complained night before that "water was pouring from Miss Houston's bathroom."
"There were no visible signs of trauma, and foul play is not suspected at this time," Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said.
At the church where Houston grew up, the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, members gathered to honor her. As a young girl, Houston grew sang solos in the choir at the church. Her mother served as director of sacred music at the church for 54 years and is still a member there.
Born in Newark in 1963 and was soloing in the junior choir by age 11,"Whitney's mother and cousins nurtured her passion for gospel music since birth," according to Houston's official Web site. Her cousins include singers Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick, and her godmother was Aretha Franklin.
Houston achieved mega-stardom in the late Eighties with such songs as "I Will Always Love You." She parlayed her musical success in film roles such as "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."
Houston's life took a sudden downturn after she married bad boy singer Bobby Brown, who she later divorced in 2007. Her addictions to drug and alcohol provided continual fodder for supermarket tabloids, who eagerly snapped photos of the once beautiful and vivacious singer reduced to a skeletal, haggard remnant of her former self.
Drugs and alcohol robbed Houston of her dignity and fortune, as well as her art - in recent years, she was unable to hit the high notes she was once famed for, her voice reduced to a rasp.
"I did really get the sense that she was really trying to make a comeback," church pastor T.D. Jakes, executive producer of Houston's upcoming movie "Sparkle," said this past weekend.
"And I think that the reason that so many people are devastated is because it is not just her music, but it is her misery that attached itself to the hearts of Americans, and we watched her struggle to regain her footing after a tumultuous relationship and bouts with abuse and substance abuse.
"I think the believability of her human struggle made her song and her acting that much more powerful because we recognize that often it is the caged bird that sings," he said.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Whitney Houston, substance abuse, death, Bobby Brown, music
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