Emotions were raw at the traditionally ebullient Grammy Awards show Sunday, with friends, colleagues and admirers expressing sadness about iconic singer Whitney Houston’s sudden death.
Questions continue to swirl about why Houston died the previous day in her fourth floor room at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel. While an autopsy was complete as of late Sunday afternoon, Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said it could take six to eight weeks before the results are in on toxicology and other tests.
“There was no visible signs of trauma, and foul play is not suspected at this time,” he said.
Whatever happened, the grief over the news about Houston — whose soaring voice and enormous talent were clouded in recent years by her battles with drug addiction — was evident Sunday on what is typically the biggest night on the music industry’s calendar.
After a performance by Bruce Springsteen, host LL Cool J began his monologue by acknowledging “we’ve had a death in our family” and offering a prayer thanking God “for sharing our sister Whitney with us.”
“Whitney, we will always love you,” the actor and rapper said, repeating the title of one of Houston’s most memorable singles. “We will honor you with the best way we know how: with a song.”