Whitney Houston investigation: Too soon to tell if drugs involved
Whitney Houston: Toxicology test results won't be known for weeks. L.A. officials wouldn't comment on the prescription drugs found in Whitney Houston's hotel room.
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The Los Angeles Times said Houston, disheveled, sweaty and smelling of alcohol, was behaving erratically when she stopped by the Hilton two days earlier, accompanied by her daughter, for rehearsals. She was seen flailing her hands frenetically, skipping around the ballroom and wandering aimlessless through the lobby, the newspaper said.Skip to next paragraph
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Members of Houston's family expressed their grief in a brief statement saying they were "devastated" by her loss.
"This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly," it said. "We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends."
In a separate statement issued through People magazine, former husband Bobby Brown, with whom she had shared a long struggle with substance abuse, said, "I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston."
Brown was described by an unnamed relative as "beside himself" with grief, according to the magazine.
On the West Coast, the First AME Church of Los Angeles, the city's oldest African-American congregation, held a special moment of silence in Houston's memory.
"Many of us were rooting and pulling for her because she has been a blessing to this generation with talent, with a special anointed voice," Pastor John Hunter told parishioners. "We will miss her. This world will miss her."
Houston's songs were already dominating Internet music sales early on Sunday. Her album "Whitney Houston - The Greatest Hits" was the top seller in the music category on Amazon.com, and her signature hit, "I Will Always Love You," was the No. 1 download at iTunes.
Over the course of a 30-year career in which she established herself as one of the most-admired and influential singers of her time, Houston won six Grammys, 30 Billboard awards and 22 American Music Awards.
The soundtrack for the hit movie in which she starred, "The Bodyguard," was among the best-selling film soundtracks ever.
By the early 1990s, Houston's success on stage was accompanied by an increasingly troubled personal life. In 1992 she married singer Bobby Brown and their tumultuous 14 years together were marred by drug abuse and domestic violence.
The last 10 years of Houston's life were dominated by drug use, rumors of relapses and trips to rehab. (Additional reporting by R.T. Watson, Mary Slosson, Jill Serjeant, Dan Whitcomb and Piya Sinha-Roy.; Editing by Steve Gorman, Dan Burns and Stacey Joyce)