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Fans Mourn Singer Whitney Houston


FILE - This Jan. 17, 2009 file photo shows singer Whitney Houston at the BET Honors in the Warner Theatre in Washington. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, she was 48. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

FILE - This Jan. 17, 2009 file photo shows singer Whitney Houston at the BET Honors in the Warner Theatre in Washington. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, she was 48. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

Grammy winner died Saturday at the age of 48

Fans of Whitney Houston gathered outside the hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where the singer died Saturday at the age of 48.

Houston was found unresponsive in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday afternoon. Police say they found no obvious signs of criminal intent and are investigating the cause of death.

Some fans lit candles and others sang songs from the singer who provided the soundtrack to the lives of many who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.

Two friends visiting from Chicago took the news hard. Sue Doss says they have watched the singer's career highs and lows, and her struggle with drug abuse.

“I grew up with her, and I was just completely shocked because I was so happy when she turned her life around and got her life back on track and was making music again,"said Doss. "And it's just very, very sad.”

Maya Pavliski fell in love with Houston's music as a child when she saw and heard the singer in the film The Bodyguard. She says news of her death was not completely unexpected.

“We were surprised, but in a way we weren't because of the reputation she's had with her drug abuse for the last few years, and I was really hoping she was making progress but apparently not,” said Pavliski

Those who gathered here came to celebrate the singer and her music. Rose Saleem is an immigrant from Guatemala who moved to the United States with her family as a child, when she discovered the songs of Whitney Houston.

“It was back in the 1980s, and all her songs are just memories and beautiful songs. It's sad, it's really sad that she's gone," said Saleem. "Too young, too.”

Two 18-year-old friends, Megan Budde and Emma Gines, also stopped to pay their respects.

Budde said, “She's so beautiful and I can't believe something like that would happen to her. She's so young."

“She was a beautiful soul and it's so tragic that she died so young,” said Gines.

Daniel Davis also says he feels the loss of a talented singer that he grew up with.

“Celebrities are just reflections and mirrors of who we are and our collective dreams and aspirations, and so I think it really deeply affects us," said Davis. "We feel that sorrow on a personal level and kind of internalize it even though it's someone we've never known, but we feel like we've know them because of our shared experience.”

Music lover Michelle Grigsby says Whitney Houston was an inspiration.

“She had perfect pitch. She was effortless. She didn't even have to try. And my heart goes out to her and her family. I love her, and I hope her journey in the next world is going to be as much as she's given this planet,” said Grigsby.

The music industry will host its annual Grammy Awards Sunday, when fans can expect more tributes. Industry legend Quincy Jones said in a statement that he is heartbroken at the loss of the singer, a six-time Grammy winner.

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