Whitney Houston’s body arrives home in New Jersey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The body of pop superstar Whitney Houston was en route from Los Angeles to her New Jersey home on Monday ahead of funeral services there, as new details emerged about the death of the singer who had long battled drugs and alcohol.

A plane owned by actor-producer Tyler Perry carrying the Grammy-winning singer's remains left a Los Angeles airport at mid-afternoon, about two days after she was found dead in a bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room.

Family members were said to be also flying to New Jersey for

a funeral and memorial, possibly on Friday in her hometown of Newark. A spokeswoman for Houston said plans for services were not yet complete.

Beverly Hills Police earlier at a news conference to address media "rumors," said Houston's body had been found underwater in the bathtub but declined to speculate on the cause of her death at age 48.

"Ms. Houston was apparently discovered in the bathtub by a member of her personal staff," who called hotel security, Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen said. She was pulled from the bathtub, but when paramedics arrived "she was unconscious and unresponsive," he said.

Houston, who rose from a church choir to become one of the best-selling and most admired singers of her generation, won six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a 25-year career that also saw her star in such blockbuster films as "The Bodyguard."

The superstar best known for her 1992 hit single "I Will Always Love You," had a long history of addiction to alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, admitting so on television talk shows. She was in rehab as recently as May 2011.

On Sunday, Los Angeles assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said medication was found in Houston's room, but declined to detail the names of the drugs or amount.


Rosen also declined comment on whether prescription drugs were found in her room or the state of Houston's body. Detectives had sealed their inquiry to protect its integrity, he said.

"We are not conducting a homicide investigation at this time. We do not know the cause of death, we do not know the circumstances leading up to her death," Rosen said.

The coroner's office has released few details of an autopsy pending toxicology tests that could take weeks to complete.

Houston's former husband, Bobby Brown traveled to Los Angeles on Sunday night after the couple's 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was hospitalized suffering from anxiety, authorities said. She was later released.

Meanwhile, Houston's brother-in-law, Billy Watson, told ABCNews.com on Monday that he doesn't believe the singer would have taken her own life.

"Oh, no, this is accidental," he said. "She wouldn't have left her daughter like that. She wouldn't have done that to her daughter."

Houston had been in Los Angeles for Sunday's Grammy Awards and planned to attend an annual pre-Grammy party hosted by record producer Clive Davis on the night she died.

Houston's death on the eve of the awards prompted the parade of music industry stars to express adoration for her and note she had risen to the top of the pop music world.

As with the 2009 death of pop superstar Michael Jackson, Internet sales of Houston's songs surged after her death.

On Monday, her album "Whitney Houston - The Greatest Hits" was the top seller in the music category on Amazon.com, and "I Will Always Love You," was the No. 1 download at iTunes, just ahead of Grammy winner Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

(Additional reporting By Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Philip Barbara)


Celebrity News Headlines - Yahoo! News