Stars expected to attend Whitney Houston’s private funeral
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Stars expected to attend Whitney Houston’s private funeral

Newark : NJ : USA | Feb 17, 2012 at 9:11 AM PST
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Deceased pop singer Whitney Houston will be laid to rest Saturday and some of the biggest celebrities will attend the invite-only memorial service. A complete list of guests has been drawn up and includes all the people the late pop icon worked with.

In contrast to the public memorial service held for “King of Pop” Michael Jackson at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Houston's funeral will be a private affair. Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder will sing at the funeral starting at noon at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday. It is the same church where Houston sang as a child.

Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead in a bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel suite last Saturday. Close friends and family members of the late pop singer will gather for the memorial service this Saturday. Kevin Costner, Houston's “Bodyguard” co-star, and longtime mentor, Clive Davis, will both speak at the service.

Multiple celebrities are expected to attend the funeral service, including Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby. It was reported that Elton John would be on attendance Saturday, but John’s publicist denied the news.

Rev. Jessie Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton will also attend Whitney Houston’s funeral. Others confirmed on the guest list are Chaka Khan, Bebe and CeCe Winans, songwriter Diane Warren and pop singer Darlene Love. Ray J, the rapper Houston was rumored to be in a relationship with before her death, will also attend.

Songwriter Valerie Simpson, whose “I'm Every Woman” was covered by Houston in 1992, will also be attending the funeral.

Talking to CNN about the deceased legendary singer, Simpson said, "Her personal trials and tribulations have nothing to do with her artistry. Her record is her music. That incredible voice. It had everything - it was elastic, it had meaning, it had range, it had soul, it had pop sensibility and an ability to interpret a lyric in a way that made you feel it."

No one without an invitation will be allowed near the church premises. However, fans of the pop legend will be able to watch the funeral proceedings live on US television. Although the Houston family wants to keep the ceremony very intimate and private, they have agreed to have a single video camera inside the church.

Meanwhile, it was revealed Friday that an invitation also went out to Whitney Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown, who was previously rumored to have been barred from the services by Houston's family.

Bobby Brown has been taking care of the former couple’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, since Sunday. 18-year-old Bobbi was hospitalized twice after suffering emotional breakdown upon learning about Houston's Saturday death.

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File photo of Whitney Houston performing the song "Try It On My Own" during the "VH1
File photo of Whitney Houston performing the song "Try It On My Own" during the "VH1
Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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