Beverly Hills News
Funeral Arrangements Made For Whitney Houston
By LaDale Anderson
Feb 19, 2012 - 8:26:49 PM

HOLLYWOOD—Funeral arrangements have been made for pop superstar Whitney Houston, who was found dead in the bathtub inside her room at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, February 11. She was 48 years old. Houston’s funeral is set to take place on Saturday, February 18, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. New Hope Baptist is the church where Houston attended growing up and where her singing voice was discovered.

  

 

The funeral will be a private ceremony for the family and is by “invitation only.” One camera will be allowed inside the ceremony which will broadcast the funeral for the public; it can also be viewed on the Internet. Houston’s eulogy will be performed by gospel singer and pastor Marvin Winans, who is a close family friend of the Houstons. Winans performed official duties for the marriage between Houston and Bobby Brown in 1992. Houston is expected to be buried at Fair View Cemetery in Westfield, where her father was buried in 2003. Her body was flown from Los Angeles to New Jersey by a private jet provided by actor, producer, director and writer Tyler Perry, who reportedly offered it to the Houston family. 

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Singing sensation Whitney Houston.

 

Some celebrities expected to be in attendance at the funeral include Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin, musician Chaka Khan, Antonio “ L.A.” Reid and Bishop T.D. Jakes, among others.

 

Houston was in town to perform at Clive Davis’s annual Pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton, which took place last Saturday evening. An autopsy on the singer was completed on February 12, but the contents are on a security hold as it is a high-profile celebrity case, similar to that of Michael Jackson in 2009. 

 

The Beverly Hills Police Department held a news conference on Monday, February 13, at which Lieutenant Mark Rosen indicated that Houston was pulled from the bathtub in her room at the Beverly Hilton. She was unconscious and unresponsive when first respondents arrived on the scene. “First aid and CPR measures were performed in an attempt to revive her. They were unsuccessful and at approximately 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,” said Lt. Rosen.  

 

“As of right now, this is an active investigation by the Beverly Hills Police Department; it’s what we deem to be a death investigation. It’s not prompted by her celebrity or notoriety - we would do this in the case of any attendant or unexpected death of any one her age. As of right now, it’s not a criminal investigation, we have concluded our portion of the investigation at the hotel. We have a team of investigators specifically assigned to this case, but as of right now at this date, it’s a coroner’s case,” added Lt. Rosen. He further added that authorities are “not conducting a homicide investigation at this time, we are conducting a death investigation.” 

 

Authorities collected several bottles of prescription drugs inside Houston’s room at the Hilton. Officials indicated that there was not a large amount of medications found in the room. An official cause of death has yet to be determined as the Los Angeles Coroner’s Department is awaiting toxicology results. Those results are expected to take several weeks to be completed.

 

Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 18, was rushed to Cedars- Sinai  on Saturday after hearing of her mother’s passing. It was reported that she suffered from a panic attack and anxiety, and is now recovering. Bobby Brown, Houston’s ex-husband, canceled his tour and arrived in LA on Sunday night to be with his daughter.  

 

Lt. Rosen further stated at the press conference, “We do not know the cause of death, we don’t know the circumstances leading up to her death and as of right now it’s a normal investigation of someone her age who would have died in this manner.”  

 

Houston comes from a family of singers that include her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, her cousin Dionne Warwick, and her godmother, soul icon Aretha Franklin. Many considered the pop singer to have one of the greatest voices of all time. She won her first Grammy in 1986 for her hit single “Saving All My Love for You.” 

 

Her second album, “Whitney,” spawned pop hits such as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” Her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the 1991 Super Bowl wowed audiences worldwide.

 

She made headlines when she married R&B singer Bobby Brown. The couple had a relationship that involved drugs and domestic abuse, as Houston would later relate. The couple divorced in 2007. Her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” from the soundtrack of “The Bodyguard” became Houston’s biggest selling single of all time and broke records on the music charts. The song went on to win Record of the Year at the 1994 Grammy ceremony. 

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Mourners paid tribute to the late singer Whitney Houston, who passed away in Beverly Hills last week. Photo courtesy of Bill Farroux, Canyon News.
 

 

She also had roles in films. After a hiatus from the big screen, Houston recently began working on a remake to the 1970s classic “Sparkle” alongside “American Idol’ winner Jordin Sparks, which is expected to arrive in theaters in August 2012. After years of battling drug abuse, Houston made a comeback with her 2009 album “I Look to You” which included the single “Million Dollar Bill” and debuted #1 on the Billboard charts. 

 

Stars shocked by Houston’s sudden death took to Twitter with their thoughts. Khloe Kardashian stated “I will always love you Whitney Houston.”  Jennifer Lopez wrote, “Such a loss. One of the greatest voices of our time.  Sending out prayers to her family #R.I.P. Whitney.” 

 

Mariah Carey tweeted, “Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.” 

 

LA Reid tweeted, “I am completely devastated by the loss of the greatest voice of all time! R.I.P. Whitney Houston. I will always love you!” Christina Aguilera wrote, “We have lost another legend.  Love and prayers to Whitney’s family. She will be missed.” 

 

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were somber as many musicians paid tribute to the icon.  Jennifer Hudson performed a rendition of Houston’s  single “I Will Always Love You” which received a thunderous applause from the crowd. Since her passing, Houston’s music has grown in popularity as fans have downloaded her music on iTunes and purchased her albums in stores.



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