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Celine Dion says 'drugs, bad influences' took over Houston's life (+video)

Celine Dion says Whitney's life was taken over by drugs and bad influences. Photo / Getty Images
Celine Dion says Whitney's life was taken over by drugs and bad influences. Photo / Getty Images

Celine Dion has spoken out about the death of Whitney Houston, speculating that "drugs" and "bad influences" were responsible for the late music star's downfall.

Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday with her face underwater.

The 48-year-old singer, who had a history of drug and alcohol addiction, was discovered by a member of her staff at about 3:30pm, hours before she was scheduled to attend the Clive Davis pre-Grammys party at the Hilton hotel.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Beverly Hills police spokesman Lt Mark Rosen said Houston was pronounced dead shortly before 4pm.

"Ms Houston was pulled from the tub by members of her staff and hotel security was promptly notified," said Rosen.

"First aid and CPR measures were performed in an attempt to revive her," he said, adding that "after unsuccessful attempts, Houston was pronounced dead at 15:55 local time."

According to gossip website TMZ, Houston's family were allegedly told by Coroner officials there was not enough water in her lungs to conclude she had drowned.

The website cited sources as saying that prescription drugs might have been involved in her death.

However, Deputy LA coroner Ed Winter disputed TMZ's report.

"I had a conversation with the family at the hotel and at no time did I discuss prescription meds or the drowning issue," he said.

"I don't know if the detectives discussed that with the family, but no, we have not released any information like that."

Winter said there were "no signs of trauma" or "foul play", adding that bottles of prescription medicine were found in Houston's room, but declined to detail the names of the drugs.

"There weren't a lot of prescription bottles. You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet," Winter said.

Although an initial autopsy has been conducted, official results, including a cause of death, have not been disclosed.

"It's too early to say," Winter said when asked if drowning had been ruled out as a cause of death.

"You can look at a body and not know what the cause of death is. You might have a suspicion that person could have suffered a heart attack or something.

"No matter what medications they're taking, until we run a (toxicology test) and see the level and what's in the system, we're not going to speculate."

The full results of the toxicology report are expected in six to eight weeks.

'What happens when you have everything?'

Canadian singer Celine Dion has joined the legions of celebrities who have paid tribute to the I Will Always Love You singer.

Speaking to Good Morning America during a phone interview on Tuesday, Dion lamented the loss of her "amazing inspiration", and said that Houston's tragic death serves as a cautionary tale.

"Whitney's been an amazing inspiration for me," Dion said. "I've been singing with her my whole career, actually. I wanted to have a career like hers, sing like her, look beautiful like her."

She speculated: "It's just very unfortunate that drugs and, I don't know, bad people or bad influence took over. It took over her dreams, it took over her love and motherhood."

The My Heart Will Go On singer also compared Houston's death to the passing of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

"I mean, you think about Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, to get into drugs like that for whatever reason, is it because of the stress, the stress and bad influence, what happens?" she said.

"What happens when you have everything? What happens when you have love, support, the family, motherhood? You have responsibilities of a mother and then something happens and it destroys everything."

"There's something that happens that I don't understand, and that's why I'm so scared," she told GMA presenter Robin Roberts.

"I'm scared of show business, I'm scared of drugs, I'm scared of hanging out, and that's why I don't do parties and hanging out, and that's why I'm not part of show business. We have to be afraid."

Dion said of Houston's music: "When music helps or when music changes the lives of a lot of people ... I'm sure that her music has helped a lot of people. Music is therapeutic, it's helping a lot of people.

"It's tragic. Her music will live forever, but it's not enough. Time after time we lose people - it's too soon and there's no time for that. I mean, taking pills to go perform and taking pills to wake up and taking pills to go to bed...taking drugs. It's so unfortunate."

She continued: "I've always said you have to have fun and do music and you can never be part of show business because you don't know what it's going to get yourself into. You have to do your work and have fun and get out of there.

"She's had a family. So what happens?" Dion added. "How come it's stronger than all that? Stronger than family, than motherhood, than love itself? What's going on?"

Check out Dion's interview below:

What do you think about Dion's comments? Sound off below.

Could more have been done to save Houston?

"It's always something more you could have done," Houston's brother-in-law Billy Watson told ABCNews.

"We were all feeling she was on her way back," he added, believing that Houston was on the road to recovery after repeated stints in rehab.

"We were all feeling she was on her way back," said Watson. "She had a few stumbling blocks in the way, but she was on her way back."

He also said he doesn't believe the singer would have taken her own life.

"Oh, no, this is accidental," he said. "She wouldn't have left her daughter like that. She wouldn't have done that to her daughter."

"I was with her on New Year's Eve," Watson said. "We talked for a while, and she was in good spirits. She was talking about the movie she had just finished [Sparkle with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks], she was talking about her daughter and where she was headed. She said she was back on her feet and ready to roll."

Funeral plans

Houston's funeral will take place on Saturday in the New Jersey church where she first sang as a child, reports TMZ.

The singer's body was yesterday flown from Van Nuys Airport in the Los Angeles area to her hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

According to the owner of the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the funeral will be held at noon at the city's New Hope Baptist Church.

The home's owner, Carolyn Whigham, said the service would be by "invitation only."

"They have shared her for 30 some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell," she said.

"The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time," she said.

Houston leaves behind a daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina, with her ex-husband, Bobby Brown.

- Blogger Bites Back

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