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Whitney Houston joins other stars who died tragically

Whitney Houston, whose soaring voice lifted her to the top of the pop music world, but whose personal decline was fueled by decades of drug use, died today in a Beverly Hills hotel room at age 48.

music Updated: Feb 12, 2012 15:20 IST
Whitney Houston
American-pop-diva-Whitney-Houston-emerges-from-the-waters-of-the-River-Jordan-near-the-Sea-of-Galilee-during-a-Holy-Land-pilgrimage-in-this-file-photo-taken-May-29-2003--REUTERS-Ygal-Levi

Whitney Houston, whose soaring voice lifted her to the top of the pop music world but whose personal decline was fueled by decades of drug use, died on Saturday in a Beverly Hills hotel room. She was 48.

Houston joins the ranks of other popular singers and performers who died an early death after struggles with alcohol or drugs. Here are some of them:

-- Amy Winehouse: The British soul singer died on July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. An inquest into her death found that she had more than five times the legal driving limit of alcohol in her blood when she died.

The "Rehab" and "Back to Black" singer had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction during her brief but successful career.

-- Michael Jackson: The 50-year-old pop star died on June 25, 2009, of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and sedatives, just weeks before a series of planned comeback concerts. Late last year, his personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death and sentenced in November to four years in jail.

-- Elvis Presley: Presley was pronounced dead at a Tennessee hospital on Aug 16, 1977, at the age of 42. He had been found unconscious at the home earlier in the day and an autopsy later listed the cause of death as a drug overdose.

-- Jim Morrison: The Doors frontman was found dead in the early morning hours of July 3, 1971, in the bathtub of his rented Paris apartment at the age of 27. The official cause of death was listed as heart failure, but that finding remains controversial because no autopsy was ever performed.

-- Jimi Hendrix: The guitarist and singer-songwriter is considered to be among the greatest electric guitarists in musical history. His hits included "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries Mary." Hendrix died in London on Sept 18, 1970, at age 27. According to his death report, Hendrix had asphyxiated in his own vomit after drinking and taking drugs.

-- Janis Joplin: A native of Texas, Joplin was known for her gritty, rock 'n' roll voice that spawned hits such as "Down On Me" and "Piece of My Heart." She sang with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin died on Oct 4, 1970, at age 27. The cause of death was a heroin overdose, possibly combined with alcohol.

-- Brian Jones: A founding member and guitarist for The Rolling Stones. He left the Stones in June 1969 and was replaced by Mick Taylor. Jones died on July 3, 1969, after drowning in a swimming pool at home in England. He was 27 years old.