Whitney Houston was in good spirits, it seemed, on Thursday night, one of her last public moments before her Saturday death.
She got up on stage at a pre-Grammy event at TRU Hollywood, joining Kelly Price to sing a little, although it was hard to hear her because of all the cheers and shout-outs to her.
Price told Today this morning, when asked what Houston was like that night, "My impression was that she was there, she was happy, she was celebrating -- it was a pre-Grammy celebration. ... I saw nothing other than someone who was happy, moving forward and having a good time. Her daughter was there with her. She was singing, dancing and talking about her movie coming out. ... There's no condition I noticed other than celebration and wanting to have a good time."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, after Houston exited the stage, she joined Broadway singer Stacy Francis in the VIP section. They were cordial to each other until R&B star Ray J, who has recently been linked to Houston, stepped into the conversation. "Whitney just got belligerent," an eyewitness told THR. "Ray was trying to defend Stacy, telling Whitney, 'Stacy's family!', but Whitney was feeling crowded out and hands were raised." The situation was defused.
When she left the club, however, photos show something dripping down her legs.
Earlier on Thursday, Houston dropped by rehearsals for Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party. Several members of the press were there doing a junket. Though Houston greeted people with a warm smile, she "appeared disheveled in mismatched clothes and hair that was dripping wet with either sweat or water," reports The Los Angeles Times.
Ricky Minor, Whitney Houston's longtime musical director, tells Showbiz 411 that Houston was wet - because she had just gone swimming.
Describing her as "visibly bloated," the Times says Houston "displayed erratic behavior throughout the afternoon -- flailing her hands frenetically as she spoke to Brandy and Monica, skipping around the ballroom in a child-like fashion and wandering aimlessly about the lobby. It was mentioned by a Grammy staffer that security personnel received calls of the singer doing handstands by the pool."
On Friday, TMZ reports "partied heavily" at the Beverly Hilton hotel, "drinking and chatting loudly" with friends in the bar.
On Saturday, a reporter for the Daily Beast was taping a segment for VH1's Behind the Music about the rapper Akon. VH1 was supposed to interview Houston about her upcoming movie, Sparkle. Writes Allison Samuels:
Someone kept banging on the door as we taped, so we stopped. The woman at the door, who it turned out was Houston's personal assistant, Lynn Volkman, said, "Whitney's not coming, Whitney's not coming." And then finally said, "She's dead." Volkman was in a daze.
TMZ reports that Houston's body was discovered by her aunt, Mary Jones, who had laid out the star's dress for the evening on the bed and then left the hotel room for about a half hour. When she didn't come out of the bathroom, Jones entered, pulled Houston out of the tub and began administering CPR.
The autopsy for Houston is complete, but results will not be released, pending toxicology reports, which could take up to six to eight weeks.
"I know there are reports that she maybe was drowned, or did she overdose, but we won't make a final determination until all the tests are in," said Ed Winter of the Los Angeles coroner's office at a news conference on Sunday. He added that "there are no signs of foul play."
Her cause of death is "deferred."
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell told Piers Morgan over the weekend that an X Factor meeting was planned for today to discuss filling empty judges seats. Houston was "one of the names we were going to be talking about," he said.