Aretha, Stevie Wonder to sing at Houston's funeral
Farewell: (AP/Mel Evans)
Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will sing at the private funeral of
Whitney Houston on Saturday in what promises to be a very musical service.
Publicist Kristen Foster also confirms that invitations went out to
Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown; her co-star in "The Bodyguard,"
Kevin Costner; and Oprah Winfrey.
Houston's longtime musical mentor, Clive Davis, will speak at the funeral.
The eulogy will be given by gospel singer and longtime family friend Marvin
Others who will be part of the program include Donnie McClurkin, Tyler
Perry, Kim Burrell, Rickey Minor, Alicia Keys, Dionne Warwick and Cece Winans,
The Queen of Soul was a close family friend and considered Houston her
goddaughter; she said in an email Thursday that Houston used to call her
Organizers were getting the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark ready
Thursday for the funeral. Drums and speakers, which were to be part of the
musical service, were in the aisles.
Fans without invitations ill be kept far away. Newark police say
streets will be shut down for six square blocks around the church.
But on Thursday, there were several dozen fans outside, contributing
to and taking pictures of the makeshift memorial to the superstar outside the
church. Media were also outside of the venue.
Houston died Saturday in
Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 48.