- (PHOTO: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
Whitney Houston's cause of death, while previously thought to be drowning, could have been a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol, according to reports.
Whitney Houston's cause of death could have been caused by a lethal combination of Xanax and other pills with liquor, family sources told TMZ. The coroner informed a Houston family insider- although toxicology reports are incomplete, so results are not official- that the singer did not have enough water in her lungs to have drowned.
Whitney's aunt, Mary Jones, found the singer's body in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, which led many to conclude that her death was drowning. Mary had been helping Whitney to prepare for an appearance at the Clive Davis Grammy Awards pre-party, laying down a dress for her and leaving for about 30 minutes.
When Jones came back, Houston was submerged in the bathtub.
The aunt removed an unconscious Whitney, and tried her best to revive her using CPR. She also called emergency services.
Paramedics arrived at 3:30 p.m., and the singer was pronounced dead only 25 minutes later, according to CNN. Houston was only 48 years old.
Beverly Hills police came to investigate, they found pill bottles scattered about the premises, although there was little evidence at the time that Houston had been drinking alcohol, according to TMZ.
The reaction to Houston's death was immediate.
Clive Davis, whose event transformed from party to a solemn remembrance of Houston and her talents, spoke about the renowned music artist.
"By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney's passing. … I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me," said the record producer.
"Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on," added Davis.
Bobby Brown, Houston's former husband, did not cancel a performance several hours after hearing the news. Instead, he ended his show with a tearful, "I love you, Whitney."
Sunday, at the Grammy Awards, Jennifer Hudson sang Whitney's famous cover of "I Will Always Love You" in a short, but poignant tribute.
When toxicology reports are complete, many will finally be privy to Houston's definitive cause of death, according to CBS News.
Houston's mother is arranging to have the songstress' body flown to Atlanta as early as tomorrow, according to TMZ.