Whitney Houston’s funeral: participants and programe
A galaxy of stars is expected today to pay tribute to Whitney Houston at her funeral in a gathering not seen since the death of Michael Jackson.
David Bowie will supposedly be among those attending the private service as will Janet Jackson, rapper Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and R n B singer R Kelly.
Alicia Keys will reportedly perform, as will Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, who was Whitney Houston’s godmother.
Whitney Houston’s husband Bobby Brown will also be attending after her family put aside their grievances and begrudgingly sent him an invitation.
It had been thought Bobby Brown would be kept away amid resentment he led Whitney Houston astray and fears he was trying to get his hands on her $40 million fortune.
The 90-minute service will take place at 12:00 p.m. local time at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where Whitney Houston was first discovered as a teenager.
It will reportedly be a mixture of religious music and celebrity tributes including a speech from Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston’s co-star in The Bodyguard.
The church’s choir will perform the processional and the opening and a house band will be on stage throughout.
The song list and who will be in the backing cast for each artist has not yet been worked out.
Among the others who will reportedly attend the service are Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston’s cousin, Bill Cosby and U.S. chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.
R n B singer Brandy will be there as will The Reverend Jessie Jackson, Chaka Khan and US X Factor judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid.
Sir Elton John has denied reports he will be there.
The eulogy will be read by the Pastor Marvin Winans, who married Whitney Houston and Brown in 1992.
All the proceedings will be streamed live on the Internet and roadblocks will be in place around the church to keep the public back and ensure those attending can get there on time.
Just hours later Bobby Brown, 43, will apparently split from the rest of his grieving family and travel to Connecticut – where he will play a lucrative concert at a casino.
The funeral comes one week after Whitney Houston was found dead in the bath of her hotel room in Los Angeles.
Police have reportedly obtained the singer’s medical records and are investigating what drugs were supplied to her in her final days.
No cause of death has been identified yet and officials are waiting for the results of toxicology tests.
Ray- J, Whitney Houston’s boyfriend, was seen at LAX airport on Friday catching a flight to New Jersey ahead of the singer’s service today.
It has also revealed yesterday that Mel Gibson reached out to Whitney Houston a few years ago to try and deal with her addiction issues.
Mel Gibson was invited to the funeral by Whitney Houston’s family but is unable to attend because of prior family commitments, TMZ reports.
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