Whitney Houston, star of "The Bodyguard," "Waiting to Exhale," "The Preacher's Wife" and a musical career spanning three decades, has passed away at the age of 48. The Associated Press reports that the cause and location of her death are unknown. Publicist Kristen Foster confirmed Saturday that the singer has died.
Though she's most famous for her soaring voice and award-winning songs, Houston's high-profile acting gigs predate her illustrious recording career.
By the time Houston's chart-topping eponymous album was released, containing hits like "Saving All My Love For You" and "Greatest Love of All," she'd already appeared on the popular NBC sitcom "Gimme a Break!" She returned to the network for a guest appearance on "Silver Spoons" shortly after the release of her debut album.
Houston's first big screen role came in 1992's romantic thriller "The Bodyguard," co-starring Kevin Costner, for which Houston won MTV Movie Awards for Best Breakthrough and Best Female Performance.
Subsequent roles furnished more awards for the singer/actress. Both 1995's "Waiting to Exhale" and 1996's "The Preacher's Wife" earned Houston the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, and the latter also scored a nomination for 1997 Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress.
Houston's final film is "Sparkle," set to be released in August, 2012. A remake of the 1976 film, "Sparkle" tells the story of three teenage sisters who form a Supremes-like girl group in the golden era of Motown.
Stars have taken to Twitter to express their sadness, with Jamie Bell writing simply, "Whitney Houston, R.I.P." and director Spike Lee tweeting, "God Bless The Dead. Whitney Houston R.I.P. She Was Only 48 Years Young."
Lea Michele's reaction: "I'm speechless. Such sad news about Whitney Houston."
Singer Mariah Carey wrote, "My heartfelt condolences to Whitney's family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world."
Justin Bieber — born a decade after Houston's debut album — wrote, "Just heard the news. so crazy. One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and family."
The tragic timing of Houston's passing, just a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony, is a detail adding fuel to her fans' and colleagues' grief. As Ryan Seacrest tweeted shortly after Houston's death was reported, "At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned."
Also Check Out: Whitney Houston's Music Videos at MTV