The I Will Always Love You singer’s cause of death is yet to be announced.
Whitney Houston, who also starred in the movie The Bodyguard, died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, before she was due to attend and perform at a pre-Grammys party hosted by Clive Davis.
Celebrity website TMZ reports the star was seen with a loud group of friends at the hotel before she died. A source claimed the group were drinking and making a noise.
A police spokesman said emergency services had been called to the hotel at 3.43pm local time.
However, despite attempts to revive the Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artist, she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.
According to reports, police have sealed off the hotel room where Whitney Houston died, and searches will be conducted after they have obtained a warrant.
Whitney Houston was one of the world’s best-selling artists between the Eighties and Nineties.
From 1984 to 1999, the singer had 11 No 1 hits and another 11 top 10 hits.
Her first No1 was Saving All My Love For You. Other tracks included How Will I Know, Greatest Love Of All, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), Didn’t We Almost Have It All, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, I’m Your Baby Tonight and All The Man That I Need.
Whitney Houston’s ex-husband of 15 years, Bobby Brown, is said to be “beside himself” at the news of her death.
Brown reportedly broke down before taking to the stage during a concert with his band New Edition in Mississippi, where he declared his love to her. With tears in his eyes, Brown shouted, “I love you, Whitney” before blowing a kiss to the sky.
People magazine quoted one of Brown’s family members, saying: “He was sobbing, and by the end of the call, I was sobbing, too.
“He’s beside himself right now.”
Whitney Houston and Bobby brown married on July 18, 1992 on the grounds of Whitney’s home in Mendham, New Jersey.
However, they filed for divorce in October 2006 after a tumultuous and abusive relationship, during which Whitney admitted battling drug addiction to crack cocaine.
A plethora of celebrities have paid tribute to Whitney Houston, including Dolly Parton, citing the ballad I Will Always Love You, which they both made famous.
“Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston,” Parton said in a statement Saturday.
“I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.”
Mariah Carey, Rihanna and other music legends took to Twitter in the wake of the reports to offer their own statements of grief and remembrances.
Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan will perform tributes to Houston at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards.