Details have begun to surface around the shocking death of pop legend Whitney Houston. TMZ reports today that members of the singer's entourage -- her stylist, hairdresser and two bodyguards, among others -- were in her hotel suite at the time, and had grown concerned after the singer hadn't emerged from the bathroom for over an hour. They knocked on the door and got no response, after which the hairdresser went inside and screamed when she saw Houston submerged in the tub. The bodyguard attempted CPR, but by the time paramedics arrived at 3:55 p.m., Houston was pronounced dead. Houston's body was removed from the hotel shortly before midnight, and is now in the L.A. County Coroner's office's possession, where an autopsy will be performed in the next 24 hours, the LA Times reports. Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen told reporters, "There were no obvious signs of criminal intent."
Grammy producers are scrambling to incorporate the tragic loss of an icon into tonight's show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Ken Ehrlich has asked Jennifer Hudson to take part in a dedication to Houston that will air during the show.
“Our plan at this point, I’ve asked Jennifer Hudson to come. We’re really, at this point talking about what she’s going to do, but it will be something respectful,” he told CNN on Saturday.
Ehrlich added that he had already gone through the script for the telecast and made some changes. "There are some shifts we wanted to make script-wise that probably make it a little more appropriate to what’s happened," he said.
“It’s not going to be a full-blown tribute, to me that feels like it’s too early, it’s too fresh at this moment, so we’re working on something that will be really respectful and appropriate to Whitney’s memory," he added.
At Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party, attendees filed into the Beverly Hilton Hotel where Houston was discovered just hours before, "[hugging] one another, wearing dour or dazed expressions, and many were seen shaking their heads" against the thumping of dance music, the LA Times reports.
Davis then delivered what must have been the most difficult speech of his career:
"By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney’s passing," Davis said at evening's start. "I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform."
He continued, "Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on."
Among the party's attendees: Quincy Jones, Cee Lo Green, Miley Cyrus, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Jennifer Hudson, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall. Also in attendance was 85-year-old Tony Bennett, who shocked many -- and drew some applause -- when he told the crowd to support the legalization of drugs, TMZ reports:
"First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent Whitney Houston. Let's legalize drugs, like Amsterdam, it's a very sane city now."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.