Family, fans mourn Whitney Houston with tears, prayers

(Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston has died at age 48, a family spokesman said on Saturday.

"Unfortunately it is true," the spokesman said.

Houston, inspired by soul singers in her New Jersey family, including mother Cissy Houston and cousins Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick, as well as her godmother Aretha Franklin, became one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, taking multiple Emmy, Grammy and Billboard Music awards.

Her popularity soared in the 1980s and 1990s with consecutive No. 1 hits including the smash single "I Will Always Love You," from the soundtrack of the feature film "The Bodyguard," in which she starred. The soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy for Album of the Year.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)


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