Tributes pour in for tragic singer

American singer Whitney Houston has died, at the age of just 48.

Reports are flooding in from the United States that R&B singer Whitney Houston has died. Born in New Jersey, Houston entered a musical family - her mother Cissy Houston was a respected gospel singer, while Aretha Franklin became her godmother.

Mixing a multi-faceted vocal style with a pop touch, Whitney Houston entered the music industry as a back up singer. Working with the likes of Chaka Khan, the artist then found fame in her own right.

Notching up hit single after hit single, Whitney Houston broke chart records. Between 1985 and 1988 the singer scored seven straight number one singles in the United States, while her rendition of 'I Will Always Love You' remains the biggest selling single ever released by a female artist.

Often criticised for being too slick, too pop Whitney Houston changed course several times in her career. Later moving into edgier, modern R&B tinged climes, the singer became romantically linked with Bobby Brown.

A controversial performer, the Brown / Houston pairing would become a fixture in the American tabloids for almost a decade.

Spotted partying with friends on Thursday (February 9th) ahead of the Grammy awards, Whitney Houston was later found dead by friends in her hotel room. The BBC reports that the singer was discovered in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The news comes as the music industry prepares to focus on tonight's (February 12th) Grammy awards ceremony. Organisers have arranged for a special tribute to Whitney Houston, with Jennifer Hudson due to perform.

Tributes are pouring in for the record breaking singer...

Aretha Franklin: "I just can’t talk about it now. It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby.”

Mariah Carey: "Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms Whitney Houston. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth”.

Herbie Hancock: "It's difficult not to be sad about it because it's a great loss. Her soul, her spirit, lives within all of us."

Rihanna: "No words! Just tears".

Follow Clash: