How did Whitney Houston die?

Singer Whitney Houston is dead at age 48.

Autopsy results: Whitney’s death was deemed to be from drowning because of effects from heart disease and cocaine abuse. She was found by her assistant face down in the bath tub, and had been dead about an hour. She suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease and emphysema, and had a “perforation in her posterior nasal septum,” which is a common symptom of chronic cocaine use. All of her natural upper teeth had been replaced with dental implants. There was cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, and Flexeril in Whitney’s system at the time of her death.

UPDATE! Whitney’s family says they were told she didn’t have enough water in her lungs to have drowned, but that it looks more like she died from a toxic mixture of Xanax and alcohol.

TMZ is now reporting that Whitney Houston possibly drowned in the bathtub where she was found unresponsive. By the time EMTs reached the singer, she had been taken out of the bathtub. TMZ does have a source telling them that when she was found, her head was underwater. “Whitney Houston was found in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel yesterday … with her face underwater … people close to Whitney tell TMZ.” Drowning has now been ruled out because there was no water in her lungs. There are also reports that Whitney never actually had the chance to take the bath, that she actually fell into the bathtub after experiencing some sort of catastrophic event, and was found half-in, half-out of the bathtub.

Her stylist, hairdresser and two bodyguards were in Whitney’s hotel room, and became worried when she didn’t emerge for an hour. Her autopsy has been performed, and results are pending until toxicology reports come back, which can take weeks. According to TMZ “authorities believe a combination of Xanax and alcohol could have fatally sedated her.” but results would be withheld at the request of Beverly Hills police, said Capt. John Kades of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office,

UPDATE! TMZ is now claiming that the Coroner’s office has informed Houston’s family that the singer did die from what appears to be a lethal mix of prescription pills, Xanax and alcohol and not drowning. You can the latest details on this here.

Prescription drugs (abut six bottles) were also found at the scene, including Xanax (and, according to Radar Online Lorazepam, Valium, and a sleeping medication,) but no illegal drugs were found.

According to what sources told Radar Online, Whitney had recently failed medical tests measuring the health of the lungs, heart, and liver, used to see if a patient is healthy enough to undergo plastic surgery.

Whitney’s only child, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown was reportedly taken to the hospital from the Beverly Hilton hotel on a stretcher. Earlier she reportedly got into a fight with the police who were there to investigate her mother’s death. She’s now home after receiving treatment for anxiety and stress.

CLICK HERE to watch an emotional Bobby Brown performing on stage with New Edition in Mississippi just hours after finding out Whitney had passed away.


Her publicist Kristen Foster confirmed that the troubled pop queen had died. TMZ, who are usually right about these kinds of things, say she was found unresponsive at the Beverly Hilton hotel today. Paramedics attempted CPR, but she was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. today. Her body has already been identified by family.

Whitney’s mom Cissy Houston said she spoke with Whitney on the phone about thirty minutes before she was believed to have died, and she reportedly sounded fine and was talking about going to Clive Davis’ Grammy party tonight, which is going on right now as planned without Clive in attendance.
This information seems to be gleaned from a statement from Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen, who also sent a statement to People:

“I can confirm that Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. We received a call at 3:43 p.m. from hotel security and Beverly Hills Fire and police responded minutes later. It’s unclear who notified hotel staff because she has quite an entourage here at the hotel. We attempted to resuscitate her, to no avail.”

There is no “obvious” evidence of foul play, but there is an ongoing investigation. She was found in the bathtub, and a friend told CNN that her friend, and rumored lover Ray-J found her body. However, Ray-J’s publicist says that Ray-J was not even near the hotel at the time Whitney’s body was discovered.

TMZ reports that Whitney partied heavily at the Beverly Hilton hotel bar the night before her death. Her entourage was reportedly drinking, and being very loud. The Daily Mail posted photos of Whitney Thursday emerging from a nightclub looking completely disheveled with what looked like blood dripping from her leg. While she was in the nightclub, she performed a song on stage, what is believed to be her last performance.

Bobby Brown is reportedly “beside himself” with grief and experiencing crying fits over his ex-wife’s death. He took to the stage with New Edition in Mississippi just hours after her death. He professed his love for Whitney, and said he got on stage for his fans.

Simon Cowell was on Piers Morgan tonight live, when they were interrupted with news of Whitney’s death. Cowell then confirmed that he was considering Whitney to be a judge on The X Factor.

Whitney had a golden voice which sparked huge record sales in the ’80s and ’90s, but her voice, sales, and image soon became ravaged by drug abuse. She was also involved in a tumultuous and abusive relationship with Bobby Brown for much of her career (1992-2007.)

In 2002 she told Diane Sawyer: “The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.” That’s also true for everyone.

The six-time Grammy winner was seen out and about earlier this week with Ray-J.

Whitney recently filmed a movie, Sparkle, with Jordin Sparks that’s set to release August 2012.

RIP Whitney, we’ll always love you:

UPDATE – It has just been announced that there will be a Whitney Tribute during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards telecast featuring a performance by Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan. Click here for all the details!

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