Whitney Houston died on Saturday, was mourned by her peers on Sunday -- and now the questions really begin.
Just how she died remains unknown (an autopsy is complete but results have not been released, and toxicology reports aren't expected back for 6 to 8 weeks). But what's clear is in the days leading up to her sudden demise, Houston was preparing a return to the spotlight that at times had those around her calling her "erratic," while others just saw her as full of joy and excitement.
Gerrick Kennedy, a music writer for the L.A. Times saw Houston two days before she died, and told TODAY's Matt Lauer Monday that "she was very, almost frantic. There was a bit of an erraticness in her behavior ... she just was wandering around aimlessly, almost like a child. She seemed a little lost.... As the day went on you got more glimpses of her and a taste of the fact that something was off with her."
But Shaun Robinson, an Access Hollywood reporter, spoke with Houston in her last one-on-one interview in November to promote Houston's last film, "Sparkle," and says "You could not tell me that this was a woman who would be dead in 13 weeks. She looked healthy, she sounded fantastic ... she seemed very happy and in a really, really good place."
Singer and Houston's longtime collaborator Kelly Price got a glimpse of an upbeat Houston, who jumped on stage and began singing when Price was performing Thursday. "My impression was that she was there, she was happy, she was celebrating ... I saw nothing that showed me other than someone who was happy, who was moving forward, who was having a good time.... There was no condition that I noticed other than one of celebration."
TODAY's Ann Curry spoke with People magazine's assistant managing editor and psychiatrist Gail Saltz about what Coyne called an "ongoing struggle" in Houston's life since her 2007 divorce from Bobby Brown. "The comeback that everybody was hoping for with Whitney ... really never materialized.... There was this hope that now that she was free from that marriage that was so troubled that she would now somehow return to fine form and it never really happened."
Singer Darlene Love, who had known Houston since she was eight, also spoke with Curry about her decades-long friendship with the fellow singer. She said she overheard from fellow restaurant patrons while out having a meal on Saturday about Houston's death, and said she hasn't been able to reach the family since Houston's death. "I never thought I would be sitting somewhere talking about her not being here," said Love. "She had that gift of wanting to live, wanting to sing, wanting to be here and being a light."
But Love wasn't the only person to publicly express shock and sadness at Houston's loss; the shock has reverberated around the world. Speaking at the BAFTA Awards in London over the weekend, Viola Davis said that she has every one of Houston's song on her iPod, reported TODAY's Mike Taibbi. Oprah tweeted "Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang."