Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Huge Arena Funeral For Houston, Say Reports

Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at an 18,000-seater arena in New Jersey on Friday, according to reports.

TV networks in the US have reported that a private wake is planned for the star on Thursday before a ceremony is held at the Prudential Center the day after.

A picture of Houston appeared on the electronic board outside the arena, one of the nation's busiest entertainment venues, on Monday night as the 48-year-old's body was flown back to her home city of Newark.

The singer died in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Los Angeles-based celebrity website TMZ said a jet owned by film star and producer Tyler Perry was used to return the body to New Jersey.

A police escort accompanied the body as travelled from Teterboro Airport to the Whigham Funeral Home, the same place that arranged her father's funeral in 2003.
Fans awaited the arrival of Houston's body at the funeral home

Houston's family were thought to have been debating whether to have the smaller service at the New Hope Baptist Church, where family members have sung over the years.

It was while singing in the gospel choir at this church that Houston's powerful voice was first noticed.

Mourners have been flocking to the building to leave flowers, notes and candles.

If Houston's funeral is held at the Prudential Center it will echo the 2009 memorial held for Michael Jackson at LA's Staples Center.

But TMZ claimed there might have been a rift in Houston's family over where her funeral is taking place.

It states that the singer's mother Cissy and cousin Dionne Warwick both wanted the burial to take place in Atlanta.

Houston was found dead in a bath in her suite at the Beverly Hilton, hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy Awardsparty.

She was under the water and apparently unconscious when found by members of her entourage, police said in a statement.

"Ms Houston was pulled from the tub by members of her staff and hotel security was promptly notified."

The LA police commented after widespread speculation about how the star, who had a well-documented battle with drug and alcohol addiction, died.

TMZ reported Houston did not die from drowning but a suspected "combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol".

It added that officials with the LA coroner's office had told the singer's family there was not enough water in her lungs "to lead to the conclusion that she drowned".

LA deputy coroner Ed Winter confirmed there were bottles of prescription medicines in the singer's room but would not give details.

"There weren't a lot of prescription bottles. You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet," he said.

TMZ also claimed that some of the medicine bottles in the room appeared to be from the same pharmacy that was raided after Michael Jackson's death.

This has not been confirmed.

The actual cause of death will be determined by the coroner's office after final toxicology results are received.



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