Did Whitney Houston Blow Her Fortune?
Was Whitney Houston broke at the time of her death? INSIDE EDITION looks at Houston's finances and determines the stars worth.
Did Whitney Houston blow her multi-million dollar fortune on drugs and extravagant living?
That's the question swirling today after this front page headline in the New York Daily News.
"Fortune of 100 Million-Plus Evaporated," the paper says.
It claims that Houston, having battled a drug habit for decades, was reduced to asking friends for $100 handouts.
"I wouldn't say she was broke, but her finances were diminished considerably," said Roger Friedman of showbiz411.com.
Friedman also says Houston's huge entourage was part of the problem.
"She has 25 people working for her and family members who all live off of her," said Friedman.
Houston put her five-bedroom house in New Jersey up for sale at a bargain-basement price tag for a mansion: $1.7 million.
It's a fabulous, ultra-modern home, spacious and filled with light, with exquisite bathrooms and a huge dining area.
Outside though, alongside a makeshift shrine to Houston, the gate post is now crumbling and the fence damaged.
Even so, it's quite a long way from the modest house near Newark that Houston grew up in.
INSIDE EDITION was given exclusive access to the house, which current resident Carole Hogans bought 26 years ago from Houston's mother Cissy for $150,000.
Carole knew Houston back in the day and has fond memories of the star-to-be.
"Very, very nice girl," said Hogans, "bubbly girl."
Houston's legendary recording of "I Will Always Love You" is now the #1 download on iTunes.
But you may be surprised to learn that a significant part of the income pouring in goes to the song's composer, Dolly Parton.
Even if Houston did die broke, experts agree her estate is about to get a major boost, just like Michael Jackson's did after his death in 2009.
"We see what we call the death bounce when an artist dies," says CNBC's Julia Boorstin.
She says Houston's tragic death is already bringing a bonanza in record sales.
"We already saw Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits topping the charts for both Amazon and Apple. I would expect there to be a boost as many as tens-of-millions of dollars more in music sales," said Boorstin.
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