Los Angeles: Legendary singer-actress Whitney Houston, the most awarded female act of all time and a heart throb of the 80's with soulful songs like 'I Will Always Love You', was found dead at a hotel here on the eve of music industry's biggest night.

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The 48-year-old, whose once sparkling career was shattered by drug abuse and personal problems, was found dead at the Beverly Hilton hours before her scheduled appearance at a pre-Grammys dinner.

She was pronounced dead at 3:55 pm (local time Saturday) at the hotel despite resuscitation efforts, a police spokesman said.

Beverly Hills Police Lt Mark Rosen said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent" and that the cause of her death is being investigated.

Her representative Kristen Foster said that the singer had died, but the cause of death was not immediately known.

Paramedics who were already at the hotel due to the Grammys failed to revive her.

The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of Dionne Warwick, Houston was on the verge of a film and music comeback after a decade spent battling drug issues and bad press as her marriage to Bobby Brown crumbled. The couple divorced in 2007.

Houston was among the world's biggest stars and most famous voices at the height of her career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when she scored hit after hit with songs like 'How Will I Know', 'The Greatest Love of All', 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and 'Saving All My Love For You'.

She also hit the top of the world's pop charts with her rendition of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You' from the soundtrack to blockbuster movie "The Bodyguard", in which she starred alongside Kevin Costner.

She was one of the top-selling artistes in the industry, with more than 55 million records sold in the US alone.