Public shut out of funeral, memorial for Whitney - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Public shut out of funeral, memorial for Whitney

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Whitney Houston's body was flown by private jet Monday to her hometown of Newark, NJ. (Source: Asterio Tecson) Whitney Houston's body was flown by private jet Monday to her hometown of Newark, NJ. (Source: Asterio Tecson)
Singer Chaka Khan shared her reaction when she first heard Whitney Houston was dead. (Source: CNN) Singer Chaka Khan shared her reaction when she first heard Whitney Houston was dead. (Source: CNN)

NEWARK, NJ (RNN) - Whitney Houston's invitation-only funeral will be held Saturday in her Newark, NJ, childhood church. Her family says there will be no public memorial.

The funeral director for Whigham Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements, said the funeral will be held at noon ET at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.

"That is the final deal," Carolyn Whigham said.

Whigham said all arrangements are complete for the singer who died Saturday, Feb. 11 in her hotel room bathtub. Houston was planning to attend a Grammy-related party hosted by longtime mentor and friend Clive Davis just hours later, in the same hotel where she died.

No tickets will be issued for her funeral. The family shot down rumors of a public memorial service.

"They have shared her for 30 some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell," Whigham told the Associated Press. "The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time," she said.

Houston, 48, was the winningest female pop artist of all time. She had battled with drugs and alcohol abuse over the years. An autopsy was completed Monday, but results from toxicology tests won't be back for another six to eight weeks.

Investigators said several bottles of prescription drugs - including anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids - were found in her hotel room, although not in unusual amounts. A small amount of water was found in her lungs.

Several media outlets, including the celebrity website TMZ, have posited that the singer may have drowned after passing out; or that she may have died first from an overdose and slipped into the water.

On Monday night, celebrities were still expressing shock and disbelief over Houston's death. Singer and friend Chaka Khan told CNN's Piers Morgan that the news stunned her.

"I just got off a plane from Miami at about 5:30. As soon as I hit the tarmac, I found out, I heard," Khan said. "I couldn't put on makeup, I couldn't get dressed, I couldn't do anything, I was paralyzed. I couldn't do anything."

CNN reported that Houston sang back-up on Khan's "I'm Every Woman" single, and went on to record her own remake of the song in 1992.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.

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