Whitney Houston Dead at 48 -- the Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths of the Last Year

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Singer Whitney Houston was nearly escorted off a flight recently when she refused to buckle her seat …

The world found out over the weekend that singer Whitney Houston has passed away. Late Saturday night, reports came in that the singer had died, and her publicist confirmed them, however no cause of death was given. Houston had been reportedly in the running to become a judge on the competition show "The X-Factor."

Whitney rose to fame in the 1980s, first breaking out as a phenomenal singer, then later she started to act, her most notable role as a singer in "The Bodyguard" opposite Kevin Costner. Houston's performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in 1991, at the onset of the first conflict with Iraq, is considered the greatest performance of the national anthem ever televised. Whitney and her ex-husband singer Bobby Brown had one child together.

In the last year, there have been a few very shocking, and untimely deaths in the world of celebrities, and here are some of the most notable.

Amy Winehouse - Like Whitney before her, Winehouse was a powerhouse singer who fought her own demons of dependence. Sadly, her long fought battle was lost last summer when Amy died at the age of 27. She had been responsible for reviving a style of singing that has since become quite popular, as evidenced by the tremendous success of Adele.

Heavy D - The hip-hop community was stunned last November when Heavy D passed away from an embolism. He had come to fame as part of Heavy D & The Boyz. Their debut album "Living Large" brought them success, while "Big Tyme" was a smash hit, with four hit singles. Heavy was just 44-years-old.

Steve Jobs - Though his fight with pancreatic cancer was well known, news of Jobs' death shocked the world. Jobs will be best remembered as the co-creator of Apple computers which gave the world Macintosh computers, iPods and iPads. Jobs was also a pivotal early investor in Pixar Animation which has been at the forefront of computer-generated animation for the last twenty years.

Elizabeth Taylor - While she died at 79 years of age, the legendary Ms. Taylor's death was no less shocking. Perhaps when someone is as iconic as Liz was, any time they pass on it will be a shock to the system. After all, she practically invented modern stardom with her exploits in the 1960s with fellow stars Richard Burton and Eddie Fisher. There have been rumors of either Lindsay Lohan or Kristen Stewart playing the star "Cleopatra" in a Lifetime movie.

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