Whitney Houston's family has been reeling since the superstar singer died unexpectedly on Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif. Now, the family is making funeral service plans, which they hope to keep a private affair.
Whitney Houston's funeral was originally supposed to take place on Friday in Newark, NJ, at the Prudential Center. The Prudential Center is an events-sporting arena that seats 18,000. Seating was expected to be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
However, TMZ reported Tuesday afternoon that the funeral service will take place on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where Houston sang as a child with her mother Cissy Houston and her cousin Dionne Warwick. Whitney was a religious woman, who grew up in the church and had reportedly reconnected with her God before she died.
Sources told TMZ that the family wants to keep the event an extremely private affair. Therefore, it will be invite-only.
TMZ reported that the church seats around 300 people. There is no word on who will be invited.
The singer's body arrived in New Jersey Monday night at Teterboro airport via a plane owned by actor-producer, Tyler Perry. A golden hearse and police escorts awaited to transport the body to the Wingham Funeral Home in Newark, the singer's home town, according to the UK Telegraph.
Whitney Houston was pronounced dead on Saturday at 3:55 p.m. PST. The newest news reports state that the singer died of a combination of drugs and alcohol. Initially, her cause of death was rumored to be drowning, as the singer was found in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room. However, there was reportedly not enough water in the tub for the singer to drown.
A toxicology report and official autopsy may not be available for the next six to eight weeks. Houston's last meal included of champagne and Heineken. Empty medicine bottles were found her hotel room, along with pills like Xanax and ibuprofen.
Whitney Houston's family has been in sheer shock since the death. Her daughter Bobbi Kristina was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. According to TMZ sources, the 18-year-old was taken out of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where her mother died, on a stretcher at around 11 p.m. Saturday night.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that police and fire responded to a 911 call regarding a medical emergency, but would not give any details. According to TMZ, the medical emergency was related to Whitney Houston's daughter. She was taken away at around 10:30 a.m. People magazine reported that Bobbi Kristina had a complete breakdown Saturday night.
Ex-husband Bobby Brown arrived on the East Coast rushed to his daughter's side after her medical emergency, cancelling his tour with his group New Edition.