Whitney Houston, who spent 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her recording of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” is dead at age 48. The cause of death has not been determined.
Police said a 911 call was made Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Houston was staying at the hotel where record executive Clive Davis was hosting his annual pre-Grammy party Saturday night. It’s one of the most exclusive events surrounding the Grammy Awards, which take place Sunday at Staples Center. Davis signed her to Arista Records and released her self-titled debut album in 1985.
During her career, the singer, who had a well-publicized history of drug abuse problems, earned two Emmy Awards, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. Her hits include “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “You Give Good Love” and “The Greatest Love of All,” but her greatest chart success came with her remake of the Dolly Parton hit. Featured in the 1992 film, The Bodyguard, “I Will Always Love You” was suggested to her by co-star Kevin Costner.
The Bodyguard soundtrack won a Grammy for album of the year and has sold more than 17 million copies. Houston’s recording of “I Will Always Love You” won her Grammys for record of the year and best pop vocal performance by a female.
“Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston,” Parton said Saturday night in a statement to Billboard. “I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.’”