Whitney Houston, the singer who defined many 80's childhoods, is dead at the age of 48. Her body was found at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and the news is shocking the music world just one night before the Grammys.

In recent years, Whitney's regal voice and perfect image have been ravaged by drugs, a habit she just could not break. So while many of us could have seen it coming, it does not make it any less sad.

Houston was the reigning queen of pop for many years and over the course of her career, she won two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She has sold 200 million albums world wide.

Sadly, in recent years, she was best known for her stormy marriage to Bobby Brown, which lasted for 15 years. And, of course, her drug addiction, which led to publicly erratic behavior and some weird moments. But for those of us who were children of the 1980's, this is how we best remember her:

It is stunning. It is heartbreaking. No matter how much you think you know about a celebrity, it is always shocking when they die so young. As recently as last Thursday, Houston was seen out partying. So what happened in the past three days? How did this happen?

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At her peak, Houston had it all. She seemed full of grace and poise and class and she sang perfectly, influencing everyone from Mariah Carey to Christina Aguilera. How did it all go so wrong?

My heart goes out to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who now has to live without her mother. Regardless of her addictions and her problems, Houston was an incredibly talented woman and her death is a tragedy in every way.

In 2002 Houston told ABC:

The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy.

It seems she was right. What a heartbreak. The world will be mourning her for years to come.

Do you find this news shocking?

 

Image via JoshuaHoFungLym/Flickr