Whitney Houston's Funeral on Saturday to be Broadcast

World | February 16, 2012, Thursday // 14:55
Bulgaria: Whitney Houston's Funeral on Saturday to be Broadcast A file picture dated 15 September 2004 shows US singer Whitney Houston performing at the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas, USA. Photo by BGNES

The funeral of legendary pop singer Whitney Houston, which will take place on Saturday at the New Jersey church where she grew up, will be available for television and web streaming, Houston's publicist said.

The services, to be held at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, will be in a small, intimate setting.

A dozen celebrities and personalities will be in some of the 1,500 coveted, "invitation-only" seats.

Gospel singer and pastor Marvin L. Winans, a longtime friend of the Houston family, will give the eulogy at New Hope Baptist Church. Winans officiated at Houston's 1992 marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown.

Asked why no public memorial service was planned, Winans told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night the family didn't "want to have a parade."

"I don't think knowing Cissy (Houston's mother) and the Houston family ... it was a matter of public or private as it was this is my daughter, this is my sister, this is my mother, this is my friend and we want to do this with dignity."

The family's thinking, Winans told "AC360," is "we loved her when she was Nippy (a nickname) in New Jersey. The world loves her because of her voice. But if Nippy could not sing, the Houston family would love her."

Although the family is not commenting on Houston's burial location, her death certificate filed Wednesday in Los Angeles lists it as Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.

The 48-year-old singer was found underwater and unconscious on Saturday in a bath at a hotel in Beverly Hills, police said.

Toxicology tests are under way after an autopsy on Sunday.

The authorities say it may be up to eight weeks before they can confirm the cause of death.

She was found in her hotel room just hours before she was supposed to appear at a gala before the Grammy awards show. At the Grammy awards ceremony on Sunday she was remembered by the music world.

Houston was one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, but her career was overshadowed by drug use and a turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

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Tags: whitney houston, Xanax, alcohol, drowning, pop singer, Los Angeles, Grammy Awards, Grammy, Beverly Hills, coroners, coroner, Los Angeles, police, Newark, New Jersey, funeral

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