Aretha to sing at Houston funeral, other stars to attend - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Aretha to sing at Houston funeral, other stars to attend

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Several stars of the music industry are on the guest list for Whitney Houston's private memorial service Saturday. (Source: Arista Records/CNN) Several stars of the music industry are on the guest list for Whitney Houston's private memorial service Saturday. (Source: Arista Records/CNN)
Houston, 48, was found dead Saturday in her room at the Beverly Hills Hilton. (Source: CNN) Houston, 48, was found dead Saturday in her room at the Beverly Hills Hilton. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) – Aretha Franklin and other stars of the music industry are expected to attend the private memorial service for Whitney Houston at noon on Saturday.

Chaka Khan, Ray J, Brandy and the Rev. Jesse Jackson were among those confirmed on the guest list for the service, according to USA Today. It is scheduled to be held at the 1,500-seat New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.

Franklin has been asked to sing at the service. Singer Dionne Warwick, Houston's cousin, went to New Jersey to help the family with funeral arrangements, her publicist told CNN.

ABC news reported Bobby Brown had been contacted by the family about attending as well.

USA Today reported city streets would be shut down for six square blocks around the church beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

However, people who want to observe the service can do so through the Associated Press livestream service.

Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, requested The Rev. Marvin Winans perform the eulogy. Winans officiated Houston and Brown's wedding ceremony in 1992.

In a CNN interview this week, Winans said no public memorial had been planned because the family did not want to hold a parade.

Houston reportedly drank large amounts of alcohol at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in her final days.

She ordered drinks from bars in the lobby and the pool regularly, including hours before she died, a source told CNN. TMZ posted a photo on its website of Houston lounging by the pool with a drink next to her chair.

Hotel guests said she complained loudly about them being watered down or having too much ice.

Forbes reported on Thursday that Houston was not broke and had left a last will and testament which was drawn up after her divorce to singer Bobby Brown. Unlike Michael Jackson, who had many unpublished and unrecorded songs, Houston did not have the song writing and publishing components to her estate.

Most of her wealth came from touring – her 2010 European tour earned her $35 million.

Her estate in Menham, NJ, has been on the market for three years, according to Forbes. The price of the gated home with an Olympic-sized pool was recently reduced to $1.7 million.

Authorities recovered multiple bottles for pills – including sleep aids and anti-anxiety medicine – inside the room where her body was discovered Saturday. Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner, told CNN the prescriptions discovered in Houston's room were in the pop singer's name.

He also said Houston did not appear to be "doctor shopping," but investigators were contacting physicians to rule that out.

The death certificate for Houston was filed Wednesday, but it shed little light on what killed the music icon.

The certificate lists her official cause of death as "deferred" pending investigation.

Toxicology results will take six to eight weeks to come back, so it could be awhile before any official word comes down about what killed her.

Members of the Beverly Hills Police Department said foul play was not suspected in her death.

The certificate, obtained by multiple media outlets, lists her place of burial as Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the doctors who wrote prescriptions and the pharmacies that filled them should expect subpoenas in the next few days.

Investigators said the number of pills that were found was not an unusual amount.  Determining whether the drugs were prescribed and administered properly is standard procedure in cases where drugs could have played a part in a death.

Also on Wednesday, multiple news outlets showed video from a public appearance Houston made Thursday. Witnesses described her appearance as "disheveled."

Houston's friend and fellow singer Nicci Gilbert said in a CNN interview they were out together Feb. 9 and she "didn't see anything out of the ordinary."

"She was in a great place," Gilbert said.

TMZ reported Houston's family had shut out her former husband from memorial services scheduled for Saturday. A source close to Brown told ABC News that information was inaccurate, and he canceled plans to participate in reunion concerts with the group New Edition to be with his daughter.

The two divorced in 2006 and have one child together, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown. She was hospitalized twice for stress following her mother's death but "is doing much better," according to her father's written statement.

Houston's family has planned a private funeral for Houston Saturday in Newark, NJ, according to CNN.

In honor of the New Jersey native, Gov. Chris Christie said he plans to issue an executive order for flags to fly at half-staff Saturday at government buildings.

Fans of Houston pushed several of her albums back onto the Billboard Top 200 list following the news of her death, including the album Whitney: The Greatest Hits, which surged to No. 6.

Houston, 48, is one of the best-selling artists of all time, starred in several movies and earned more awards than any female singer during her career. She was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Seventeen.

However, in recent years, she became almost as well known for her tumultuous lifestyle involving alcohol and drug use and domestic violence. Houston and Bobby Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was panned by critics and viewers alike for the outlandish antics displayed by the pair.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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