Bobby Brown invited to Whitney Houston's funeral
Whitney Houston: Death of a pop diva
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 1997 file photo, Whitney Houston looks over her shoulder as her husband Bobby Brown looks to her at the premiere of "The Wonderful World of Disney" movie "Cinderella," at Mann's Chinese Theater in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, has died, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. She was 48. (AP Photo/Rene Macura, File) (RENE MACURA)
There are reports that the family will hold a private wake Friday for the late pop superstar Whitney Houston. Her funeral will be Saturday.
Houston's publicist Kristen Foster confirms to AP that invitations went out to Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
Many big names in entertainment are planning to say goodbye in person at the funeral for Houston, which will be held in Newark, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Houston passed away unexpectedly last Saturday, in Beverly Hills.
Friends and family members will gather Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church for the service.
In contrast to the mega-event held for Michael Jackson at Los Angeles' Staples Center after he died, Houston's will be a private, decidedly more intimate farewell.
She may have made her name in L.A., but she'll always be New Jersey's native daughter. "She's part of us," one fan said. "She's back here. She's back home. You know, all the glitz and glamour, and she's right back here with us."
Saturday's service will be private - a family choice -- though fans will be able to watch a stream of the proceedings online.
Among those planning to attend -- Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin, who will all sing. The Queen of Soul remembered her goddaughter at a concert earlier this week with a poignant rendition of Houston's most famous recording, "I Will Always Love You."
Among those speaking at the service: Kevin Costner, Houston's co-star in "The Bodyguard," and Clive Davis, her mentor. They'll be watched by Chaka Khan, Jesse Jackson, Brandy and 1,500 others.
Outside and across New Jersey, flags will fly at half-staff.
That decision by Gov. Chris Christie caused a minor stir on Twitter this week, compelling him to respond to his critics. "I'm disturbed," Christie says, "by people who believe that, because of her history of substance abuse, that somehow she's forfeited the good things that she did in her life. I just reject that on a human level."
And while the remembrances continue, so does the investigation of Houston's death. But that will take time. Records have been subpoenaed from Houston's doctors and pharmacies -- standard procedure -- but authorities say it will be weeks before toxicology results are finished and show whether or not Houston had any drugs or alcohol in her system when she died.
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