A week after Whitney Houston’s death shocked the world, the singer’s close friends and family will gather in Newark, New Jersey to bid farewell to her. The funeral service will be held at the New Hope Baptist Church where she sang as a young child. Gospel singer and pastor Marvin L. Winans is delivering the eulogy. He also officiated the wedding between Bobby Brown and Whitney years ago.
Though the service is an “invite only” event, Whitney’s fans can watch it via satellite on television, the internet and on jumbo screens outside the church. As a side note, the Governor of New Jersey has ordered flags be flown at half-staff at state government buildings on Saturday
As you would expect, the church pews will be filled with the late singer’s famous friends. Despite early reports that Whit’s ex-husband was forbidden to attend the ceremony, Bobby Brown will in fact attend. That said, some family members are reportedly not happy he’s coming. Oh well, word has it he’s not going to linger around afterward. He’s set to leave on a private jet for Connecticut to perform at a concert immediately after the funeral. Continue reading to find out who else will be saying their good-byes to the iconic diva.
As stated earlier, Whitney’s funeral is an “invite only” event. Those receiving an invitation from the family include Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, David Bowie, Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, Bill Cosby, Chaka Khan, Tyler Perry, Diane Warren, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bebe & CeCe Winans, L.A. Reid, Ray J and Brandy. Also invited and on deck to deliver speeches are Whitney’s mentor Clive Davis and Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner. I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to Costner’s words. I’m sure it’ll be extremely heartfelt and moving.
In between all the speakers, a handful of guests have been asked to perform. Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Donnie McClurkin and Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin will be gracing the crowd with song. I’m sure all their renditions will have the church, fans outside and myself misty and overcome with emotion.
Any predictions on what they’ll sing? Will you watch segments of the service on Saturday? With a week almost passed since her death, I still can’t believe she’s gone. As you can tell with all my Whitney posts this week, I was a big fan. All week long, I’ve continually played her music in the background. I just can’t get enough.