Whitney Houston 's funeral on Saturday (February 18, 2012) is expected to be a musical tribute to the late singer and some of Houston's celebrity friends, such as Kevin Costner and Oprah Winfrey are expected to attend the service. Houston's family have requested that fans respect their privacy and do not try to attend the service, which is taking place at the New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey, which Houston attended as a child.
Fox News have reported that Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are both expected to perform on Saturday and Clive Davis, Whitney's long-time mentor at Arista Records will speak at the service. A eulogy is expected to be led by the gospel singer Marvin Winans. Marvin's brother, CeCe Winans is also expected to perform, as is Alicia Keys, Dionne Warwick, Tyler Perry, Kim Burrell and Ricky Minor. An email from the publicist Kristen Foster explains that Aretha Franklin was referred to as 'Aunt Ree' by Whitney Houston.
Preparations for the funeral are already said to be underway, with speakers and and drums being loaded into the building as early as yesterday (Thursday, February 16, 2012). Newark police have said that streets will be locked down from six blocks away, to prevent fans from accessing the church during the funeral. Fox News will be streaming a live broadcast of the funeral, for those wishing to watch the ceremony.