Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user who had the drug in her system when she drowned in a hotel bathtub, coroner’s officials said after releasing autopsy findings that also noted heart disease contributed to her death.
The announcement ends weeks of speculation over the cause of Houston’s death.
Several bottles of prescription drugs were found in her hotel room, but coroner’s officials said they were not in excessive quantities.
Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey said cocaine metabolites were found in Whitney’s system, and it was listed as a contributing factor in her death. He added that the results indicated Houston was a chronic cocaine user.
Whitney died just hours before she was scheduled to appear at producer Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy Awards bash.
She was buried in a New Jersey cemetery next to her father after an emotional four-hour funeral service that was attended by friends, family and superstars such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Roberta Flack.
Houston, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985, was one of the world’s best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, turning out such hits as I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know, The Greatest Love Of All and I Will Always Love You.
Patricia Houston, the singer’s sister-in-law and manager, said: “We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure.”