ASHES TO ASHES: The Ghost Of Grammys Past

NEW YORK TIMES: As the music industry struggled to come to terms with the death of Whitney Houston the night before, the Grammy Awards on Sunday appeared to crown a new queen of popular music in Adele, the British singer and songwriter who has dominated the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with her classic soul sound. The 23-year-old singer and songwriter, whose raw vocals and searing lyrics made “21” the best-selling album last year, captured six awards, sweeping record, song and album of the year. She seemed to be a perfect champion for a beleaguered record industry: a pure, no-frills singer able to fuse heartbreak and melody and sell millions of records without outlandish costumes or titillating lyrics. Wearing a simple black dress and classy earrings, Adele sang for the first time since vocal cord surgery forced her to cancel a tour last year. Her voice soared on her global hit “Rolling in the Deep,” and the crowd at the Staples Center here gave her a standing ovation. But Adele had to share the spotlight with Foo Fighters, who captured five awards, and with the memory of Whitney Houston, whose death hung over the proceedings. The host of the show, LL Cool J, began the broadcast by asking the audience to join him in a prayer for Ms. Houston, and later Jennifer Hudson did a touching rendition of Ms. Houston’s hit “I Will Always Love You.” MORE

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RELATED: Whitney Houston probably died from a combination of the drug Xanax and other prescription medication mixed with alcohol, TMZ reported, citing family sources who were briefed by L.A. County Coroner officials. Coroners informed Houston’s family that there was not enough water in the singer’s lungs for her to have drowned, and that she may have died before her head became submerged in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where her body was found Saturday, reported. MORE

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