After a long battle with addiction, Whitney Houston has been found dead in a LA hotel room on the eve of the annual Grammy awards. The singer was discovered unconscious in the Beverly Hills Hilton hours before attending Clive Davis’ pre-show party. No cause of death has yet been confirmed. Hosuton was 48 years old.
Mother of Motown sibling music group Debarge, Etterlene Debarge, released a statement on her Facebook account, stating, “My son, El, was with Whitney a week ago. She share[d] her pain with him and she ask[ed] him this question, ‘El, would you please help me.’ He felt strange she would ask him that. He call[ed] me very upset, not knowing it would be the last time talking to her.”
El Debarge, who was lead singer of Gordy Records’ Debarge and now solo on Interscope Records, was a close friend of Whitney Houston during the late 1990s. Both influential vocalists performed together at the Soul Train Music awards in 1999. The two, who hadn’t seen each other for a long time, bumped into each other at a nightclub in Hollywood last Thursday for the first time since. A video of this rendez-vous, which has gone viral on Twitter, has been described as a “tearful reunion”. El Debarge also fought drug addictions.