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Whitney Houston's cause of death revealed

23 MARCH 2012

Whitney Houston drowned, but heart disease and cocaine use were contributory factors in her death, a US coroner has ruled.

The announcement by officials in Los Angeles ends weeks of speculation about why the Grammy-winning singer perished on February 11.

The 48-year-old star was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

 

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Several bottles of prescription drugs were found in her hotel room, but coroner's officials said they were not in excessive quantities.

Spokesman Craig Harvey said cocaine metabolites were found in Whitney's system, and it was listed as a contributing factor in her death. He added that the results indicated the star was a chronic cocaine user.

Whitney died just hours before she was scheduled to appear at producer Clive Davis's pre-Grammys bash.

She was buried in a New Jersey cemetery next to her father after an emotional four-hour funeral service that was attended by friends, family and superstars such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Roberta Flack. 

Whitney, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985, was one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-Eighties to the late Nineties, turning out such hits as I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know, The Greatest Love Of All and I Will Always Love You.

Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and manager, said: "We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure."

Whitney Houston: The diva who had it all

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