Houston died from drowning, coroner says

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Whitney Houston died from drowning in a hotel
bathtub, but coroner’s officials said Thursday that heart disease
and chronic cocaine use were contributing factors to the singer’s
death.

The release of autopsy findings Thursday ends weeks of
speculation about what killed the Grammy-winning singer on Feb. 11
on the eve of the Grammy Award.

Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the
Beverly Hilton Hotel and her death has been ruled as accidental.
Several bottles of prescription medications were found in her hotel
room, but coroner’s officials said they weren’t in excessive
quantities.

Beverly Hills police said in a statement there was no evidence
of wrongdoing in connection with Houston’s death.

Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey says cocaine and its
metabolites were found in Houston’s system, and it was listed as a
contributing factor in her death. He says the results indicated
Houston was a chronic cocaine user.

Houston died just hours before she was scheduled to appear at
producer Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards bash.

The singer was buried in a New Jersey cemetery next to her
father after an emotiona 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

Houston, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985,
was one of the world’s best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to
the late 1990s, 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.” But as she struggled with drugs, her
majestic voice became raspy, and she couldn’t hit the high notes.
Interest in her music has skyrocketed since her death, pushing
her songs back on to charts and into heavy rotation on the radio.