Celebrity Deaths: 2012

Whitney Houston Dead at 48

On February 11, 2012, legendary singer Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room, just one day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. She was set to attend Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards party that night. Details are not yet available about the death of the "I Will Always Love You" singer, but Whitney Houston has faced a well publicized battle with drug addictions. However, after her most recent comeback fans were confident she would get her life together and finally quit her addictions, especially as she has been long separated from her ex-husband and fellow drug addict, Bobby Brown. Fellow celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Christian Aguilera, and more have been tweeting their condolences and shock at the passing of one of the greatest voices of our time. Whitney leaves behind her daughter with Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown, an aspiring singer following in the footsteps of her parents.

Sister of Nick & Aaron Carter Dead at 25

Aspiring singer and sister of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and singer Aaron Carter, Leslie Carter, died on February 1, 2012 at the age of 25. Leslie appeared with her famous brothers on their reality show House of Carters in 2006 and had a single, Like, Wow! on the 2001 Shrek soundtrack. Leslie reportedly died as a result of an accidental overdose of prescription pills. Leslie was in the process of trying to kick an addiction to prescription medications. She is survived by her husband of three years, Mike Ashton, her 10 month old daughter, Alyssa Jane, her parents, her four siblings, and two half-siblings. In the wake of her death, her brother Aaron, decided to temporarily pull out of his Off-Broadway show, The Fantasticks. Her brother, Nick, who is scheduled to start touring with the Backstreet Boys in the Spring stated that he would continue the tour because "performing is cathartic" and dedicate the tour to his sister.

Don Cornelius Commits Suicide at 75

Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train, died on February 1, 2012 at the age of 75 from an apparent suicide. Don Cornelius hosted and created Soul Train, one of the longest syndicated shows of all time which brought black culture and music into America's living rooms. Soul Train premiered in 1971 and aired until 2006. Cornelius hosted the program which features such greats as James Brown and Aretha Franklin from 1971 through 1993.

At 4:00 a.m. on February 1, 2012, police went to Cornelius' Mullholand Drive home in response to reports of a a shooting. Cornelius' body was found on the floor of his home with a gunshot wound to the head. The wound appeared to be self-inflicted. Cornelius was pronounced dead after being taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

It is unclear why Don Cornelius committed suicide; however, following his death there have been reports that neither his heath nor his financial situation were in good condition.

Etta James Dies At 73

On January 20, 2012, R&B and jazz legend, Etta James passed away at 73, five days shy of her 74th birthday. In early 2011, the "At Last" singer was diagnosed with leukemia and died as a result of complications therefrom. Etta James had also bee suffering from Alzheimer's disease since 2008. She passed away at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California. Her funeral was held on January 28, 2012 and Reverand Al Sharpton officiated. Musical tributes by Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera were also a part of the ceremony.

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