Whitney Houston funeral to be broadcast via live stream - will Bobby Brown attend?
Whitney Houston's funeral will be a private affair but is set to air on television and online via a live stream.
After the memorial service, the iconic pop singer will be laid to rest at a New Jersey cemetery where her father is buried, according to her death certificate, which was obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Her funeral will be held on Saturday around noon at the New Hope Baptist Church, where she first showcased her singing skills as a child. It is located in Newark, where Houston grew up. Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Winans, 53, is set to serve as the eulogist, according to CNN.
According to her death certificate, Houston will then be laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in the city of Westfield, located 15 miles away. Her father, John, who died in 2003, is also buried there. Us Weekly magazine reported that the star had asked to be laid to rest next to him.
The 105-acre cemetery is also an arboretum. It contains a pond with a fountain, flowers and 61 species of trees.
The singer's family is allowing one video camera inside the church. The footage will be broadcast by the Associated Press news wire - (Watch the live stream on OnTheRedCarpet.com.)
The funeral is by invitation only and reporters are not allowed in or around the church. The city of Newark plans to block off streets. Houston's family members have also requested for no funeral procession to be held and for no video screens to be set up for her fans to mourn her publicly during the funeral session, Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio said on Wednesday, according to the Star-Ledger newspaper.
Meanwhile, Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown, has been contacted about attending the funeral, ABC News reported on Wednesday. Previous reports had said he was told to stay away.
He is the father of Houston's 18-year-old daughter Kristina Bobbi Brown, who was treated at a hospital for anxiety and stress on the day after the singer died.
"My daughter Bobbi Kristina is doing much better," Bobby Brown said in a statement on Wednesday. "We continue to provide love and support to Bobbi Kristina. She is dealing with the tragedy of her mother's death and would prefer to do it outside of the public eye. I ask again that our privacy be respected."
MEDICAL RECORDS SOUGHT
Houston died at age 48 in a room at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Feb. 11, 2012 at 3:55 p.m., a time that is also listed on her death certificate.
The cause of her death is described as "deferred," as investigators have not revealed what killed Houston, who was found unconscious and underwater in a bathtub by a member of her staff. Her autopsy has been completed but the results will not be released until a toxicology report is produced, which could take up to eight weeks.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office recently issued subpoenas for Houston's medical and pharmacy records in a routine move that could speed up its investigation. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said "a number of doctors" were contacted.
He had previously confirmed that bottles of prescription drugs were found near Houston's body on the day she died. A source close to the matter told OnTheRedCarpet.com that one of them was the antibiotic amoxicillin.
Mixed with alcohol, some medications can cause death. It is unclear what substances Houston ingested on the night she died. The singer had struggled with addictions to drugs such as cocaine and pills and alcohol for years. She relapsed and returned to rehab in May. Witnesses say they saw Houston drinking champagne the night before her death.
Two days before she died, she celebrated and performed at a Los Angeles nightclub in what marked her final performance, although it is unclear whether she consumed alcohol (check out photos and video from the event).
Beverly Hills Police Department Lt. Mark Rosen told OnTheRedCarpet.com and other reporters on Monday that police have carried out a preliminary death investigation and are not treating the matter as a criminal case, but have "not ruled anything out."
On the day of her death, investigators for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office worked inside the hotel room where she died as celebrities poured into the building for a pre-Grammy gala that Houston was supposed to attend. Producer Clive Davis, her mentor, dedicated the event to her (see photos). The party featured performances from the likes of Alicia Keys and also handed out the President's Merit Award to Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.
Houston, who had six Grammy Awards, was known for songs such as her cover of Dolly Parton's ballad "I Will Always Love You" and "I'm Every Woman," originally sung by Chaka Khan. Both tracks were featured on the soundtrack of the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard," which marked Houston's film debut.
Khan recently slammed Davis' decision to go ahead with his pre-Grammy gala, calling it "complete insanity."
"Knowing Whitney, I don't believe she would've said the show must go on," she said on "Piers Morgan Tonight" in an interview that aired on February 13. She was the kind of woman that would've said, 'Stop everything! Uh uh. I'm not going to be there.'"