Whitney Houston, the only artist to ever have seven consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, died tonight, according to a statement from her representative. She was 48.

Houston came from a dynasty of soul singers: her family includes Dionne Warwick and mother Cissy Houston, and her godmother was none other than Aretha Franklin. She began singing at age 11, and continued to the end of her life.

Houston spent the 1980s as one of the most popular recording artists of the decade. Her version of 'I Will Always Love You' was arguably the triumph of her career, and is the single highest selling single ever recorded by a female artist, and she had the added distinction of being the first artist to sell over a million albums in one week. Other hits recorded by Houston include 'How Will I Know,' 'Saving All My Love For You,' and 'I Want to Dance With Somebody.'  Her success extended to film, where she starred in the hits 'The Bodyguard' and 'The Preacher's Wife.'  Overall, Houston sold more than 170 million albums worldwide.

Her later years found her mostly in the news for her struggles with substance abuse and her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, which ended in 2006. Houston had been on the comeback trail in recent years, releasing a new album, 'I Look to You' in 2009, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, success she had not seen since the release of 'The Bodyguard.'

She is survived by her mother and her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. We here at TheFW would like to extend our deepest condolences to her family in their time of loss, and we will have more information as it becomes available.