Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday (Feb. 16) at noon will be a star-studded invitation only event that will include musical performances and eulogies by stars like Kevin Costner. Fans will be able to watch through a live stream over the Internet.
The funeral will take place in Newark, N.J. at the New Hope Baptist Church. Houston sang there as a child. Pastor Marvin Winans will deliver the eulogy. Winans is a gospel singer and long-time family pastor. He married Houston and Bobby Brown in 1992.
Despite various reports, Brown will be attending the service. Members of Houston’s immediate family, including her mother Cissy Houston had tried to dissuade him from coming. But Brown wanted to be there for his daughter with Houston, Bobbi Christina, 18.
Houston, 48, died suddenly at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday (Feb. 11) on the eve of the Grammy Awards. The cause of death is pending while the coroner awaits results of toxicology tests. But Houston is widely believed to have died from a drug and alcohol overdose.
She was found submerged in a bathtub full of water in the early afternoon, before her planned attendance at pre-Grammy gala hosted by her long-time mentor Clive Davis, who will speak at the funeral.
Houston had a long history of drug use the began or intensified after her marriage to Brown. Her career went into a tailspin and she entered rehab at least twice during that time. She divorced Brown in 2007.
In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston said she was shocked by the death of singer Michael Jackson, who died at 51 from a prescription drug overdose.
“I was getting scared,” she told Winfrey. “I was looking at myself going, ‘No, I don’t want this to be like this. This can’t happen. Not both of us.’”
After the service, Houston will be buried at the Fair View Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., where her father was buried in 2003.
To watch the funeral live over the Internet, click here for TheImproper’s live stream.