I'm so glad there's a place to talk about this. I think that a death of someone who isn't just prominent but an artist who has an impact on our lives has a measurable effect on us. We feel a connection to the person, not because he/she is well known but because, as seniorita points out, that person may have brought us to tears or inspired us to dream. Losing a great actor or singer often feels like losing a part of our own past. I've noticed that reaction in myself and others quite a few times. I'm old enough to remember when John Lennon was killed. I felt as though something inside myself had been taken away. I wasn't a huge Houston fan, but I deeply admired her voice (three octaves, I believe) and thought she was just beautiful to behold. As with many of you, her high point for me was her amazing performance in The Bodyguard. The camera didn't just love her; it cherished her. Her face seemed to glow. We forget nowadays that this film was also a bit of a pathfinder: it featured an interracial romance without even bringing up the issue. Well, what man wouldn't look at Houston at the peak of her beauty and fall in instant love with her?
The thought of such an astounding talent being wasted is heartbreaking. There's no reason except ill use for her voice to have shredded into tatters by her forties. As a reality check, Susan Boyle was in her mid-forties when she sang on Britain's got Talent. Streisand is just about seventy, and so is Judy Collins, a folk singer I always loved and heard in person recently. Elaine Page, the British stage star, is at least sixty.
Extra heartbreak: Skateluvr, you say that her daughter is also using drugs? That is dreadful. With parents like that, Bobbi C. never had a chance at a decent start in life. I hope she can be rescued. I think you're very likely right about the cause of death: those powerful drugs can turn on you in a minute. They weaken the body and the heart over time, and any dose can become the overdose that ends things by sheer accident.