Whitney Houston: no foul play involved in singer’s death

Meanwhile, celebrity fans pay tribute to the star - and her final recordings will feature in her last film

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A Los Angeles coroner has said that foul play was not suspected in the death of Whitney Houston, but refused to confirm whether it had been the result of drowning or an overdose.

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The singer and actress, 48, was found dead in the bath of her suite at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, hours before she was due to perform at a pre-Grammy party that was being held in the hotel.

LA deputy coroner Ed Winter said a cause of death would not be released until the results of toxicology tests on Houston’s body had come back.

“I know there were reports of ‘Did she drown or was it an overdose?’ But I will not be commenting on that,” said Winter.

Responding to suggestions that prescription drugs had been found in Houston’s room, he added, “I’m not going to comment on any of the meds or prescriptions that were obtained.”

Meanwhile, celebrity fans and friends of Houston used the weekend’s awards ceremonies to pay tribute to the star. 

Grammys host LL Cool J told the audience at the US music awards, “We were up all night [deciding how to respond to her death], and we just wanted to…show Whitney Houston the love, the appreciation, the respect she deserves based on her as a human being and the career that she had…”

“Although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed by her musical spirit,” he added.

Later, Dream Girls star Jennifer Hudson performed one of Houston’s biggest hits, I Will Always Love You, to a rapt crowd.

And at the Bafta Film Awards in London, actor Cuba Gooding Jr preceded his presentation of the first prize with the words, “Whitney, I will always love you.”

Houston was no stranger to awards ceremonies, having won six Grammys and two Emmys, among numerous other accolades, during a career that spanned three decades.

Her fans will be able to see the star in action one last time in her upcoming movie, Sparkle – a remake of the 1976 film about three church choir singers who find success as a girl group – which is due in UK cinemas on 12 October. 

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According to reports, Houston’s version of gospel song Eyes on the Sparrow will feature in the film, while Celebrate, a duet with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks written by R Kelly, will play over the closing credits.