Whitney Houston funeral invite list, choir plans and more are leaking out through the media as the memorial approaches.
The choir at the funeral, slated to be held Sunday at New Hope Baptist Church, the Newark, N.J. congregation where Houston began her singing career as a child, is slated to be filled with music legends, according to the New York Daily News.
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 newspaper, though he added, I can't name names.
A number of music's biggest stars are expected to attend the ceremony, according to the paper, including Houston's godmother, Aretha Franklin; Houston's mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston; and Houston's cousin, musician Dionne Warwick.
Her close friend Chaka Khan is expected to be at the funeral as well, as are singers Kelly Price and Jennifer Hudson, the paper reported.
Whitney Houston's funeral will be a somber affair for friends and family who want to say goodbye to her in person.
The funeral service was originally planned to be held Friday at the Prudential Center, a massive venue Houston's birthplace of Newark, N.J., according to The Star-Ledger, which cited a conversation with an unnamed local community leader who knows Houston's family.
But the new plan is just to host a private ceremony at New Hope on Saturday, after the Houston family asked for the Prudential Center event to be cancelled, according to a representative for Newark Mayor Corey Booker.
The Houston family has no plans to set up a public viewing at the Prudential Center this Friday, the Booker representative told TMZ, adding the following: In compliance with the family's wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony.
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.