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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Whitney Houston’s funeral: Invitation-only

AP photo

AP photo

Whitney Houston’s funeral will be an invitation-only event this Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she grew up singing with her mother, Cissy Houston, and her cousin, Dionne Warwick, TMZ reports.

It’s a good bet that Atlanta entertainment mogul Tyler Perry will make the cut; he arranged for Houston’s remains to be transported east via private plane.

There had been talk of some sort of public memorial at an 18,000-seat arena but that’s now scotched, according to a statement from the Newark mayor’s office: “In compliance with the family’s wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony.”

The church posted a statement lamenting Houston’s death and requesting privacy on behalf of her family.

“We are saddened and our hearts are heavy at the news that Whitney Houston has passed away,” the church’s pastor, Joe A. Carter, said in the statement posted on the church’s web site. “Whitney called Newark home and we know that everyone, both near and far, are mourning the loss of this national treasure.”

TMZ, which has been posting updates in rapid-fire succession (including, helpfully, photos of the bathtub where Houston’s body was discovered and items  she had ordered from room service earlier in the day), also quotes “family sources” indicating there had been an internal dispute regarding where the 48-year-old singer would be buried.

Cissy Houston and Warwick had selected Atlanta as Whitney Houston’s final resting place, feeling that she spent the happiest years of her life here. But the majority of the family preferred Houston’s native New Jersey, and apparently prevailed.

We will continue to post updates.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

96 comments Add your comment

Maria E Chavez

February 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

I would like to express my deepest sympth to Ms Houston Family. I will always remember her threw her music and her movies. She always remain in my heart.

Melvin Whitaker

February 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

Our loss is heavens gain. Such a beautiful person and loved by so many people

Rennae

February 14th, 2012
12:34 pm

My Thoughts and Prayers with the Houston Family.Stay strong and Blessed.

Martha Ortega

February 14th, 2012
12:34 pm

My prayers and my biggest sympathy to her family and just know she be remember for the greatest voice she kept and her ways she presented herself every where she would go gorgeous woman

Wina Walters

February 14th, 2012
12:41 pm

Whitney to me was a down to earth person…that I know believed in God. I use to always say Whitney loved her man Bobby and always stood by his side no matter what the public thought. I was stunned to know that they was getting a divorce! However, Life goes on and her love for her daughter was to no end. I pray for her daughter most of all and hope that she can carry her mom name forever in a positive way. I Love Whitney with the best voice ever and I know she is in heaven because she believed in the God Almighty! Happy Valentines to Whitney, my mom, my angel baby and Michael J. whose in Heaven. Love Ya

oladejo hammed

February 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

the lord gaveth and he taketh.i pray that god gives u energy to bear the loss.be strong houstine family

Nurlman from Accountemps

February 14th, 2012
1:04 pm

Drugs, alcohol, and more drugs……from NOTHING to EVERYTHING to NOTHING again in the end.” A bottle of whiskey, sleeping tablets by his head”. Lyrics from “Shooting Star” by BAD COMPANY.

RadioLady

February 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

I am saddened to hear of her demise; and, I understand the family’s emotions at this time; however, the public made her the Star that she became and is due a public service—just like when James Brown and Michael Jackson passed… the public was not forgotten. i.e. there could be a private service and a public service.

gunga din

February 14th, 2012
1:15 pm

condolences to her family. she was truly a gift from God. hope her family doesn’t do a “jackson” and make a spectacle of her death.

Longtime Fan

February 14th, 2012
1:17 pm

My sympathy to Bobbi Kristina, Ms. Cissy and the rest of the Houston family. Is it really necessary to tell us that Tyler Perry or anyone else made arrangements for her body to be flown to NJ via private jet. Who cares. What is important is that she is back in her native New Jersey. I don’t care if the hotel staff made arrangements by fedex. Some people will use this tragic event as an opportunity to “further” elevate their status in life. RIP Whitney.

Anita

February 14th, 2012
1:20 pm

@Nurlman from Accountemps, No one wants to hear your negative comments!!! I worked for Accountemps and I am sure they don’t want an employee like you.

Anyway, Whitney is at rest now and she doesn’t have worry about all of the negative comments anymore. My condolences to her family. We have lost another angel. We love you Whitney. You will live on thru your music that you gave us. Thank you!!

ashton

February 14th, 2012
1:34 pm

i also agree w/the family as new jersey made her and atlanta, GEORGIA dismantled her. GEORGIA was the LAST state to abolish slavery and lynchings and it would be a major INSULT having her buried there. there’s a school (institution of education), named after her in new jersey, not in georgia and NEVER will.

despite the enormous amount of african american lives of whom have been tarnished there(GEORGIA) in modern day-not to mention slavery, i have to personnally wonder about african americans and most of the decisions they make…..

Marlon Bankhead

February 14th, 2012
1:50 pm

RIP Ms. Whitney Houston. You touched me with your gift, and I love and respect who you were. To anyone who would say the public deserves anything when it comes to this Lady’s death, is crazy! Her family owes the public NOTHING! The sense of entitlement in this country, just blows my mind. My thoughts and prayers are with her family as they navigate through this extremely tough time.

Faye G

February 14th, 2012
1:51 pm

To Ashton – What are you talking about?. This is not the platform for your comments… Regardless to how you feel..are think; The Houston’s have lost a member from their family, therefore why not leave words of encouragement, strength to help them through this difficult time.
To the family of Whitney Houston, may God strengthen you during this time of bereavement, Be encouraged, continue to draw your strength from on High

Ms MJ

February 14th, 2012
2:03 pm

Ashton – I think it’s time to take your meds, Honey…..

James

February 14th, 2012
2:03 pm

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and especially her daughter. I hope that they will all find strength to make it through this very hard and hurtful time. I know that Whitney Houston is the one not suffering any longer and is in a better place.

Robert

February 14th, 2012
2:07 pm

I think it is SELFISH for the family not to allow the public to SHARE in Whitney’s homegoing celebration. This Woman has brought many couple together thru her music, she has also encouraged many young girls, ladies, men & boys, etc…through her music. During the Gulf War she may have been a moment of encouragement to the Troops she sang for. How dare you keep the public out of the Memorial/Funeral Services. Why in heavens name would you hold services at a church that only seats 300. If the family want ALONE & PRIVATE time you can arrange for those type services through the Funeral Home as well. I pray that God will ease your pain, but at the same time you are causing so much more pain for many others. God made Whitney who she is and we the fans stood by her side through the good times and the bad times. How dare you do this, you evil and brutal people. Just no sympathy at all for the Grieving public. Not only that, but when she is buried and everything is over, you are still going to collect on her proceeds from Royalties, etc because the Fans are going to continue to purchase her records, movies, memorabilla, etc….I am so disgusted right now at CISSY Houston for this dreadful decision. Where is the God in you !!!!! This is what I call a HOT MESS !!!!…RIP Beloved Whitney…RIP.

christine

February 14th, 2012
2:09 pm

to miss cissy houston this poem always get me through the rough times
” we miss you now are hearts are sore as time goes by we”ll miss you more your loving smile and gentle face no one will ever take your place”
god gives us the strenght and the courage to do things we don’t want to do and the wisdom to do it right i know it is hard but you are a praying woman and god will see you through this to prepare for what will come, all the world is watching and praying with you ms whitney was a child of yours and gods but god needed her more for bobby christina do what your mother would expect of you you can find strenght and courage in your self just think of all the good things that you still have in your life your mother will never leave you or forget about you she has left a piece of her on earth with you so look in the mirror and your mother will always be there to listen understand and will never judge you for the things you will do please be strong you don;t have to stand alone you are surrounded by nothung but love and trust me the love you have and will continue to have for your mother will always see you through. god bless you and the days ahead

Robert

February 14th, 2012
2:10 pm

Ashton, you are so ignorant. You need to go crawl in a corner and do away with your self. So STUPID.

Stacee

February 14th, 2012
2:15 pm

R.I.P. Whitney. My heart & soul aches for Bobbi Kristina. I pray for her comfort & strength at this sensitive time in her life. May God lift up the entire family, their friends & her millions of fans during this time of need.

JH

February 14th, 2012
2:16 pm

Never understood why anyone would want to attend the funeral or a memorial service of someone they did not know. The drama and public grieving over anyone in the public eye has always seemed quite odd to me. This should be a private ritual for family and close friends only. Public life, private death. RIP

huh what?

February 14th, 2012
2:40 pm

You have to invite people to a funeral?

@JH

February 14th, 2012
2:41 pm

It’s called the cult of celebrity. People crave both knowing and or being a celebrity. This is just another way for them to feel important and worthy of inhaling oxygen.

@ huh what?

February 14th, 2012
2:57 pm

Weddings are invitation only events, so why not funerals? If it keeps the huh what? folk out, then it is probably a good idea!

@ Robert 2:07 pm

February 14th, 2012
3:09 pm

Do you actually believe what you posted? Very creepy that you feel that way! WOW!

patricia silva

February 14th, 2012
3:17 pm

my condolences to the entire houston family as well as bobby brown and daughter bobbi kristina. whitney is now at peace and will no longer have to endure such pain and heartache,wherever the funeral services are,i consider it to be a private and personal time for family and close friends to pay their respects to the loss of their loved one.whitney houston sang with a heart filled with joy and i will always remember her for that golden voice,she sings amongst the angels in heavens choir.

Kem

February 14th, 2012
3:17 pm

The homegoing should be private. Family and close friends only. The immediate family shuld be able to celebrate her life in peace and without all the nonsense. Also to keep Robert 2:07pm away.

Pamela

February 14th, 2012
3:18 pm

Whats’ really a shame is she should be buried in Atlanta. Her Mother should have the final say so. It’s like her Mother said…Whitney was happy in Atlanta. May she rest in peace.

Jraynola

February 14th, 2012
3:19 pm

Happiest days there? I can’t imagine her happiest days were in Atlanta/Alpharetta where she was frequently seen donning black eyes and bruises from that abusive marriage. That’s someone in denial…perhaps the author of this article. I have not read that info anyhwere else.

BD

February 14th, 2012
3:23 pm

Ashton Ashton Ashton, God help you!

REALLY?

February 14th, 2012
3:26 pm

The sad part about the entire thing – on the outside of Whitney dying at such a young age – is that Whitney Houston LOVED her fans. And for her fans to NOT have a chance to say their good byes is a farce. Her family should allow this. This is what she wanted. I do understand it’s a private thing, but 300 people only..she had much more than 300 friends. I guarantee you that her family do not know everybody that she was friends with so therefore they have made a very selfish decision to NOT allow the public to view her body. Shoot Whitneys’ entourage was larger than 300!

Pamela

February 14th, 2012
3:29 pm

Jraynola I never say Whitney with 1 black eye. What are you talking about? Trust me if she would have had a black eye I would have noticed it….stop being so overly dramatic!

@ REALLY?

February 14th, 2012
3:31 pm

OMG, so you did not get an invitation to the funeral? Bless your heart!

Tricia Davis

February 14th, 2012
3:31 pm

Whitney Houston voice will truly be missed, she had a voice that could move an ocean. My deepest sympathy go out the Houston family in your time of grief; May God continue to strengthen your family. We lost a Earthly Icon, but Heaven gained an angel.

dd

February 14th, 2012
3:39 pm

I blame Bobby Brown for her death. He drug her down from the day he met her and I hope he pays for it now.

@Robert

February 14th, 2012
3:39 pm

You went off the deep end. It’s not that serious dude! Look I don’t totally agree with the decisions that her family made, but it’s their decision. It is a very private moment for them. For you to call her family and her Mother evil IS EVIL!!! Her Mother is saved. Therefore there is no evil in her. Get ahold of yourself. Maybe people like you is the reason why her family decided to have a PRIVATE funeral. Thnk about it…the world/PUBLIC humilated her! They judged her! Read some of these blogs. In death they are STILL judging her. For all of you – YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT GOD WILL JUDGE YOU WITH THE SAME EXACT MEASURE YOU ARE JUDGING WHITNEY! NONE OF US IS PERFECT. THE VERY PEOPLE THAT JUDGE AND HAS JUDGED HER..I GUARANTEE YOU THAT YOU HAVE MANY SKELETONS IN YOUR CLOSET THAT YOU WOULD JUST DIE IF THEY WERE REVEALED TO THE WORLD! I NEVER JUDGED WHITNEY! I ONLY PRAYED THAT SHE WOULD GET BETTER AND OFF DRUGS AND START SINGING AGAIN….

@dd

February 14th, 2012
3:46 pm

Don’t blame Bobby for her death. It isn’t his fault. Do your research and you would know that she used cocain way before she even knew he existed. It’s really sad. She was so talented and will be missed, but you can’t blame him for her death. People want to believe that Bobby started her on drugs, but the truth is Whitney was doing them way before she met him. It’s no different from what ever it is you are doing now – now is it? :)

Chris

February 14th, 2012
3:47 pm

Deepest condelences and prayers for the Houston family right now. Just my humble opinion, but shouldn’t her mother decide what is best for her daughter? I know the family is involved and should be somewhat of a consultation process, but I would think Mom’s final decision trumps all. Either way, I’m praying for them, Bobby, Bobbi Kristina and everyone affected…

shootoutloss

February 14th, 2012
3:48 pm

Sympathies to the Houston family, also to those who have lost their lives fighting for ours overseas. Shame that they don’t get the same recognition as someone that passed due to drug abuse like this.

REALLY?

February 14th, 2012
3:49 pm

I didn’t want an invitation to her homegoing. I’m certain that YOU wanted one and you are probably another reason why her family decided to keep the ‘public’ out. Yeah you and Robert are either the same blogger or you are just another nut in the fruit cake :)

A mom

February 14th, 2012
3:51 pm

My deepest condolences to the family.

Jraynola

February 14th, 2012
3:52 pm

We were neighbors…saw her often….yes…Aqua Blue with a black eye..sunglasses indoors as well.

@ REALLY?

February 14th, 2012
3:57 pm

REALLY? said … “Her family should allow this. This is what she wanted.”

You have no idea what she wanted. When did she tell YOU that she wanted a public funeral? How about NEVER! Such comments from people that did not know her are beyond weird!

Self absorbed city that sucks

February 14th, 2012
3:58 pm

RIP Mrs. Houston. My prayers are with the family. Why is it that every time something is written from Atlanta the writers try and make the city relevant. The happiest years of her life couldn’t have been here because this is where she face the worst regarding her career and the drug use overshadowed her. Atlanta is an irrelevant city and will remain that way so stop trying to mention it in every story becasue the national news does not mention anything about it.

Respect family decision

February 14th, 2012
4:00 pm

The family can and should have the private funeral; Whitney was their daughter, mother, etc. They can plan the public celebration remembrance of her life for the rest of us at a later time. With the suddenness of her death, etc., I totally agree with Cissy’s decision and respect it. Let the family mourn the loss of their FAMILY MEMBER.

Now I hope that Kelly Price and those who were with Whitney, drinking with her, etc., aren’t invited; in my opinion, they should have realized she was NOT in good condition and shouldn’t have been in such a high-risk setting, given her history. Whitney’s blood is on their hands.

Happy?

February 14th, 2012
4:00 pm

in Atlanta? Please…..what, buying crack and living, I mean, fighting with that man…that was far from a happy marriage…anyone that knew her knew that…RIP and my thoughts go out to her daughter…

Jess

February 14th, 2012
4:11 pm

Radiohead: The family owes the public nothing. Have you ever lost someone you love so deeply that to attend 2 services would be torture? They need their private time to say “goodbye” to Whitney and they should be able to say goodbye to her however they want to.

Whitney’s gift to her public fans is the beautiful music she left behind. Rest in peace Whitney. I will always love you!

Harry Callahan

February 14th, 2012
4:15 pm

Crack is Whack

TJ

February 14th, 2012
4:15 pm

How would anyone blame Bobby. Whitney was doing coke since the early 80’s. There are idoits right now who blame Ashton for Demi’s drug problems. Demi was getting high before she met Bruce Willis. Why is the man always to blame. Women are not as defenseless as some of you think.

Robert

February 14th, 2012
4:17 pm

All of you who made remarks at my comment…..You can do 1 or 2 things for me.
1. Go to HELL
2.Shut up…..
Your choice. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I still think it is SELFISH.