Whitney Houston’s family members, including her mother Cissy and daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, took the opportunity to pay their respects in private at Whigham Funeral Home, Newark, New Jersey, yesterday.
Millions of viewers are expected to witness Whitney Houston’s funeral at noon today.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, who made her first appearance since being rushed to hospital after collapsing through stress following her mother’s passing, was seen arriving at Whigham Funeral Home in Whitney Houston’s hometown of Newark, alongside her tearful grandmother Cissy Houston.
They were later joined by famous faces including Whitney Houston’s life-long friend and mentor Clive Davis and as well as the singer’s cousin Dionne Warwick.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, who made her first appearance since being rushed to hospital after collapsing through stress following her mother's passing, was seen arriving at Whigham Funeral Home in Whitney Houston's hometown of Newark
Funeral director Caroline Whigham told the crowd gathered outside that the viewing “was done in privacy between a mother, a daughter, two brothers and a family,” according to People magazine.
The mourning family was also accompanied by a strong police presence which ensured the large crowds of fans who gathered outside the home kept their distance.
The heavy officer presence comes amid police warnings for fans to stay at home to watch the service rather than scramble for a place near the New Hope Baptist Church. Authorities say fans will not even be able to get within six square blocks of the church.
Cissy Houston was escorted into the building by a priest and held hands with a woman in a crisp white shirt. The former gospel singer was dressed smartly in a black coat with an orange and brown leopard print scarf wrapped around her shoulders.
Cissy Houston was escorted into Whigham Funeral Home by a priest and held hands with a woman in a crisp white shirt
Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, pictured in public for first time since she was rushed to hospital following the singer’s death in a Beverly Hills hotel, arrived at the funeral home in dark jeans, white vest and a black jacket.
Bobbi Kristina Brown appeared controlled as she entered the funeral home. “There are moments when she is strong and moments when it all hits her,” a source told People magazine.
“She can’t escape it.”
Bobbi Kristina is the daughter of Whitney Houston and her former husband Bobby Brown. It has been reported that the teen will now live with her grandmother “indefinitely” according to HollywoodLife.com.
However, a new report on TMZ.com this morning claimed that Whitney Houston’s family are keen for Bobbi Kristina to enter a “live-in rehab facility” as soon as possible, but are willing to wait until after the funeral to allow the teenager time to grieve her mother’s passing.
TMZ claims that Bobbi Kristina has, for the past three of four years, struggled with “substance abuse issues”, and her family are said to be keen for her to seek help before her problems get any worse.
Bobbi Kristina Brown hid her eyes between a pair of sunglasses and held the hand of a friend as she walked past security. Family and friends were greeted by what appeared to be an Egyptian-decorated casket outside the home.
As well as close family of Whitney Houston in attendance friends also gathered together to pay their respects.
Whitney Houston’s cousin Dionne Warwick was seen arriving and had wore a white shirt and a pair of dark trousers.
The late singer’s mentor and life-long friend Clive Davies also made an appearance as reports have emerged the music producer tried to get the singer to enter rehab in the weeks leading up to her death.
Whitney Houston’s on-off boyfriend Ray-J was seen making his way through LAX airport with his sister Brandy on their way to New Jersey ahead of the funeral.
Kevin Costner, who starred opposite Whitney Houston in the 1992 film The Bodyguard, was also seen making his way east at the airport.
Fans gathered outside where they signed a book of condolence and laid tributes, including flowers, balloons and teddy bears.
It is expected that fans will be blocked off the site once Whitney Houston’s family arrives for her wake ahead of today’s funeral.
The private funeral of the legendary singer Whitney Houston will be streamed live on the internet, it was announced yesterday.
The revelation will please Whitney Houston’s grieving fans, who were disappointed to learn that the star’s funeral would be a private affair.
There will also be no public memorial service for Whitney Houston.
Members of the public wishing to pay their respects to the iconic singer will be able to do so by following online as she is laid to rest.
The private funeral of the legendary singer Whitney Houston will be streamed live on the internet by The Associated Press
The Associated Press has been granted the right to film the ceremony, which takes place on Saturday in Whitney Houston’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
The funeral will be streamed on the AP’s website, and will also be made available to broadcasters.
While the service at New Hope Baptist Church will be not be open to the public, that has not stopped Whitney Houston’s fans from bringing flowers as and other gifts as tributes to the singer.
The church, where Whitney Houston sang as a child, has become one of several sites where people have gathered to remember the singer since her death last Saturday night at the age of 48.
Whitney Houston is also being remembered by the New Jersey government, after governor Chris Christie ordered state buildings to lower their flags on the day of the funeral.
Whitney Houston decline from world-beating success into damaging drug addiction has been blamed by some on her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, and it has been reported that her family asked her ex-husband to stay away from her funeral.
However, Bobby Brown has insisted that those reports are false, and that he will attend the ceremony in order to support the couple’s 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
Whitney Houston may be buried alongside her father, army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston Jr., who died in 2003
There is believed to have been disagreement among the Houston family as to where Whitney Houston should be buried.
Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy and her cousin Dionne Warwick are said to have argued that the iconic singer should be laid to rest in Atlanta, but other relatives who argued for Newark won the day.
Whitney Houston may be buried alongside her father, army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston Jr., who died in 2003.
A shocking picture of Whitney Houston’s bathroom took at her home in Atlanta, Georgia, shows how the star’s life spiraled into chaos at the height of her crack addiction.
The deplorable image, shot in 2006, shows a room littered with drug paraphernalia, including a crack-smoking pipe and spoons covered in white powder.
Despite her fame and wealth, Whitney Houston had descended into squalor, her sister in law Tina Brown, who took the photo, revealed at the time.
Drug paraphernalia can be seen in the room, where Whitney Houston holed up for days, according to Tina Brown, the sister of the singer’s husband Bobby Brown.
Whitney Houston, 48, smoked as much as an “eight-ball” (1/8 of an ounce) of crack at a go, blending it with marijuana inside in a cigar wrapper, Tina Brown, also a self-confessed former addict, told the National Enquirer.
Tina Brown said: “The truth needs to come out. Whitney won’t stay off the drugs. It’s every single day. It’s so ugly. Everyone is so scared she is going to overdose.”
A shocking picture of Whitney Houston's bathroom took at her home in Atlanta, Georgia, shows how the star's life spiraled into chaos at the height of her crack addiction
The drugs made Whitney Houston so paranoid she saw evil apparitions and once drilled a spy hole in her bathroom to keep an eye out for demons, Tina Brown claimed.
Whitney Houston at one time claimed she didn’t do crack, telling Diane Sawyer in 2002 that she made too much money to ever take the street drug. “Crack is whack,” she famously declared.
But her stunning looks later seemed to be ravaged by her habit.
And although Whitney Houston subsequently got clean, recording a comeback album in 2009, the years of abusing her body also took their toll on her voice.
At her comeback tour in Australia in 2010, Whitney Houston shocked fans when she had to take a 20 minute break to rest her voice.
Whitney Houston was set to make a return to the big screen later this year having filmed Sparkle, due to hit cinemas August 10. But the pressure to succeed was overwhelming.
“Her voice was ruined, and her comeback wasn’t what it was supposed to be, because her voice wasn’t what it used to be,” a friend told People.
Whitney Houston “was in pain from all the pressure she was facing”, the source said.
“I know from when she was recording her most recent album – her comeback album (I Look to You in 2009) – her voice was shot. That bothered her.”
“In the music industry, you’re only as good as your last hit, even if you are Whitney Houston. Then she had people gossiping about her … It was a lot to deal with.”
Whitney Houston had blown a massive fortune, earned over decades of royalties and concert tours on her drug habit and was “broke as a joke”, it was last week claimed.
“Whitney’s fortune is gone,” a source told Radar last week.
“Music industry heavy hitters are supporting her and her label is fronting her cash against her next album, but no one knows when that will be released.”
“She might be homeless if not for people saving her. She is broke as a joke.”
The legendary singer had been reduced to begging friends for help.
“She called someone to ask for $100,” the source said.
“It is so sad. She should have Mariah Carey money, and she’s flat broke.”