Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday will be “invitation only.” This much we learned this week.
Aretha Franklin is expected to attend the afternoon service – as is Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Ray J, Brandy, L.A. Reid and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to reports. As for the late singer’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown, it seems he’ll be there, too.
Reports out of ABC News and Forbes are refuting TMZ’s suggestion that the New Edition singer was barred from the service by Houston’s family, and as Brown himself told ABC News, he is currently with his and Houston’s daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina.
All told, CNN reports 1,500 people will be gathered inside Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston sang at as a young girl.
But there will be countless more watching. The service will be broadcast online and on TV, Houston’s publicist told CNN. And for the fans who’ve been keeping vigil outside the church, the New York Daily News reports that plans are underway to erect TV screens for those gathered outside. It’ll be the next best thing to a public memorial, something which members of Houston’s family have chosen to avoid.
The family didn’t “want to have a parade,” Rev. Marvin L. Winans, a Grammy-winning gospel singer and the pastor set to preside over Houston’s funeral, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Following Saturday’s service, Houston is expected to be laid to rest at Fair View Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., next to her father, who was buried there nine years ago.