Whitney Houston's funeral plans have been arranged by her grief-stricken family after days of turmoil. The official funeral will take place Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Houston grew up singing as a child in the gospel choir.
However, TMZ reported Thursday that the Houston family has also scheduled a private viewing for Friday at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, where her body is currently being held. This is meant to be an intimate gathering of close family and friends before the funeral.
Apparently, the private viewing will have an extremely tight guest list. Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown will be in attendance. The 18-year-old has not seen in public since her mother died Saturday. She rushed to the Beverly Hilton Hotel after hearing the news of the death, but law enforcement blocked her from entering the room.
The family, presumably including mother Cissy Houston, hopes the viewing will be a private affair, with no cameras around; that is why they scheduled it for the day before the funeral. Yet, it is hard to image anything but a media circus surrounding the event. Whitney Houston's death has been in the headlines since she was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room.
Whitney Houston's funeral on Saturday has a tight guest list as well. The family has made it very clear there is going to be a strong musical celebration of her life, New Hope Pastor Joe Carter told the New York Daily News. I can't name names.
Attendees reportedly include Oprah Winfrey, Aretha Franklin, Darlene Warren and Chaka Khan on the list.
The singer's body arrived in New Jersey Monday night at Teterboro airport on 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 hometown, according to the UK Telegraph.
Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick reportedly want Whitney Houston buried in Atlanta, according to TMZ. They believe that is the place the late singer enjoyed most and had the most fond memories. However, the rest of the family reportedly want her buried in Newark, where she was born.
Cissy Houston's position is: Michael Jackson did not want to be buried in Neverland, and Whitney did not want to be buried in New Jersey.