Whitney Houston drowned but heart disease and cocaine use were contributory factors in her death, a US coroner ruled yesterday.
The announcement by officials in Los Angeles ends weeks of speculation about what killed the singer on Feb 11.
The 48-year-old star was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
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 Houston’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.
Houston 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.