Whitney Houston can sing really well. But that talent has been overshadowed in recent years. That's what happens when you marry Bobby...

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The death of Robin Williams shocked fans the world this week, but sadly, he is but one of many stars to have passed away many years too soon.

For all the joy he brought to millions of lives, the actor battled substance abuse and severe depression at various points in a life cut short by his own choice.

He is far from alone. Be it from severe illness, addiction or other tragic circumstances, some of the stars who shone the brightest also met untimely ends.

Robin Williams
Robin Williams has tragically died. The actor committed suicide at the age of 63.

From Robin Williams' suicide to Philip Seymour Hoffman's overdose, Paul Walker's car crash and others that remain cloaked in mystery, it's not a short list.

Their respective careers, however, remain etched in history. They may be gone from the world we inhabit, but their legacies live on, each and every day.

Robin, Philip and so many others who tragically passed on have left their marks on this world, and having touched us all, will always have a place in our hearts.

Scroll through our list of 23 shocking celebrity deaths above as we look back on some of the famous and talented individuals who we lost far too early.

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Lifetime has given us our first look at Yaya DeCosta in the role of Whitney Houston.

The former America's Next Top Model contestant will portray this iconic artist in the upcoming biopic I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, with Arlen Escarpeta on board as Bobby Brown.

And, based on the following network photo, it looks like producers made the right call, doesn't it? At least based on resemblance?

Yaya DeCosta as Whitney Houston

Houston, of course, died unexpectedly in February 2012 at the age of 48.

She was found dead in her hotel bathtub mere hours before she was scheduled to attend Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party.

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Last month, Yaya DaCosta was cast as Whitney Houston in a forthcoming made-for-TV movie about the late singer's tragic life.

Today, we have our first glimpse of DaCosta in character, and the 31-year-old actress bears an almost uncanny to a young Whitney:

Yaya DaCosta as Whitney Houston

DaCosta is mimicking the cover of Houston's 1987 album "Whitney" and if this sort of attention to detail is maintained throughout the film, actress Angela Bassett's directorial debut should provide us with a spot-on depiction of Houston's troubled life and times.

For her part, DaCosta got her start as a contestant on America's Next Top Model and went on to land recurring roles on series such as All My Children, Ugly Betty, and House.

Most recently, she appeared on the big screen in Lee Daniels' The Butler.

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How will Sam Smith know if we really love him?

Easy: he can just search the Internet.

Nearly three decades after Whitney Houston released "How Will I Know," the British singer/songwriter has covered the 1985 classic, giving it a soulful, stripped-down makeover for SiriusXM.

Accompanied by a pianist and a guitarist, the 22-year-old has gone viral with his rendition because… well… it’s fantastic!

Give it a look and a listen below and you're bound to agree:

"Woah. My Whitney cover has had 817,055 views in 3 days!! Jeeeeheeeeezus," Smith Tweeted in response to the insane reaction.

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Yaya DaCosta has landed what some might consider the greatest role of all.

The former America’s Next Top Model contestant will anchor Lifetime’s upcoming Whitney Houston biopic as the late/great singer, portraying Houston through her roller coaster relationship with Bobby Brown and detailing her meteoric rise to superstardom.

  • Yaya DaCosta Picture
  • Whitney Houston on a Red Carpet

Since appearing on Cycle 3 of the aforementioned CW competition, DaCosta has recurred on such programs as All My Children, Ugly Betty and House.

She’s also enjoyed some big screen success, most recently playing a role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Former Oscar nominee Angela Bassett will direct the yet-untitled film, which is scheduled for a 2015 release.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Billy Joel once memorably sang that "Only the Good Die Young."

While his point was that you should live your life, not be consumed by preconceived inhibitions, the phrase certainly still rings true in modern day Hollywood.

Be it from substance abuse or other tragic circumstances, some of the world's most beloved stars have met an untimely end long before they should have.

From Philip Seymour Hoffman's heroin overdose and Paul Walker's fatal car crash to some whose deaths remained shrouded in mystery, it's a long list.

Scroll through The Hollywood Gossip's gallery of 21 shocking celebrity deaths below as we look back on some of the brightest stars who we lost too soon.

They may be gone from this world, but they are not forgotten:

Robin Williams
Robin Williams has tragically died. The actor committed suicide at the age of 63.

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According to a new report, Ray J absolutely lost it the day Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose.

Because he was distraught over the passing of his girlfriend at the time? Of course. But also because he allegedly overheard at least one police officer make disparaging remarks about the late singer.

Ray J on the Red Carpet

TMZ sources confirm that Ray J was standing outside the room when he heard laughter and some kind of rude comment, a story that jibes with someone else close to Houston complaining that an emergency responder was "talking trash" about her inside the suite.

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Whitney Houston would have celebrated a milestone today if she were still with us.

The late musical icon - who died of a drug overdose on February 11, 2012 - was born on August 9, 1963. So she would have been 50 years old today.

In honor of the occasion, let's relive Whitney's brightest moment, also known as The Singer Greatest Rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner in American History:

Since Whitney's death, her family has appeared on a reality show and her daughter Bobbi Kristina has been in the news for reasons both sad and tragic, happy and romantic.

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In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has released 128 pages of files on Whitney Houston.

And based at least some of the documents, it looks like Houston was the subject of an extortion plot in 1992.

Whitney Houston on a Red Carpet

In a letter actually marked "extortion," a woman threatens to release "certain details" of the singer's "private life" unless she is paid $100,000. A subsequent note ups the ask to $250,000 and makes a reference to Houston's "romantic relationships."

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by Hilton Hater at . Comments

The music world lost an all-time great one year ago today.

Whitney Houston passed away from a drug overdose inside a hotel room on Grammy Awards Sunday in 2012, leaving behind her a troubled teenager and a legacy that may never be matched.

In the 365 days that have passed since Whitney left us, daughter Bobbi Kristina has battled her own personal demons, while Houston's family has signed in to star in a reality show.

Elsewhere, Cissy Houston just released a memoir about her child and contestants on singing shows such as The Voice and American Idol continue to honor the star by covering her best-known tracks.

There were an incredible number of them.

Rest in peace, Whitney Houston.

Whitney Houston Biography

Yaya DaCosta as Whitney Houston Whitney Houston can sing really well. But that talent has been overshadowed in recent years. That's what happens when you marry Bobby... More »
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