The Latest On How Whitney Houston Died: Surprise! It’s Drugs

[Ed. Note: This has to be the most awkward set of file photos to be released in the wake of Whitney’s death, so of course we ran them. In a way, it’s what Whitney would’ve wanted. Mostly because she drank a lot. – SW]

Despite early reports suggesting an accidental drowning, TMZ reports Whitney Houston’s family have been officially informed the cause of death is drug and alcohol related which, let’s be honest, probably isn’t going to cause any of them to clutch their pearls except maybe Dionne who should’ve seen it coming:

Whitney Houston’s family was told by L.A. County Coroner officials … the singer did not die from drowning, but rather from what appears to be a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol … this according to family sources.
We’re told Coroner’s officials informed the family there was not enough water in Whitney’s lungs to lead to the conclusion that she drowned.
Our sources say the family was told Whitney may well have died before her head became submerged.

So now that drowning’s been ruled out, I guess we can let Aquaman off the hook even though he’s still a gill-faced junkie whose half-porpoise son cries each night for a father that’s never home. In the meantime, probably my favorite Whitney story of the past 24 hours, has to be LA Times reporter Gerrick Kennedy who went on TODAY this morning and tried to act like he noticed something “off” about Whitney hours before her death. Via Mediaite:

Kennedy reported that, “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.”
The visibly bloated singer 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.
After leaving rehearsals, Houston returned to the ballroom — with her teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina in tow — as camera crews set up for interviews. The singer smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. A Grammy staffer said that during the interviews with Brandy, Monica and Clive, Houston was dancing just off camera to make the singers and Davis laugh. Grammy personnel expressed concern that she’d be caught on camera, and that reporters would write about her behavior.

So basically this guy saw Whitney Houston acting exactly like Whitney Houston hours before her death and that passes for dramatic insight on morning television? Jesus. I get that audience has a median age of 63, but I’m pretty sure most of them already suspected drugs because old people are notoriously racist. But in a cute, hilarious way, so go easy on them.

Photos: Bauer-Griffin, Pacific Coast News