MTV will pay respects to Whitney Houston on Wednesday (February 15) with a live 30-minute tribute entitled "Whitney Houston: In Her Own Words." The MTV News special, airing at 7:30 p.m. ET and hosted by Sway Calloway, will feature interview clips of Houston from her network debut in 1986 through her final interview.
Houston died at age 48 on Saturday in her Los Angeles hotel room of as-yet-undetermined causes.
The singer had a long history with the network, dating back to her 1985 self-titled debut album. The third single from that multiplatinum smash was "How Will I Know," which helped introduce the singer to a wider audience when it became one of the first videos by a black female singer to go into heavy rotation on MTV, blasting open the doors for a whole generation of R&B and pop divas to follow.
Along the way, Houston smashed a number of records, including the best-selling single of all time by a female artist, her iconic cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." The Grammy-winning album that song came from, the soundtrack to her big-screen debut, "The Bodyguard," also set the all-time record for soundtrack albums, with more than 44 million copies sold worldwide.
During the MTV special, Sway will share personal stories from music celebrities on Houston's impact and her peerless voice. The show will stream simultaneously on MTV.com and be available on demand immediately after it airs.
In addition, MTV News will continue its coverage of the tragic death of the singer, covering everything from breaking developments to Houston's funeral. Houston will be laid to rest in her native Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday at an invitation-only private funeral at her childhood house of worship, the New Baptist Church.
The cause of Houston's death is still unknown. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office continues to quell any speculation. "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," he told CNN.
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