Whitney Houston’s Funeral: Watch The Service Live

Robbie Daw | February 18, 2012 8:59 am

Whitney Houston, iconic singer of 11 chart-topping hit singles and star of such films as The Bodyguard and Waiting To Exhale, died last Saturday, February 11, and today the 48-year-old will be laid to rest following an invitation-only memorial service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where she grew up. Those said to be paying their respects at the funeral include Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin, cousin Dionne Warwick, Bodyguard co-star Kevin Coster, mentor Clive Davis and friends Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys (who worked on Whitney’s final album I Look To You), Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Elton John and Bill Cosby.Watch a live stream of Whitney Houston’s funeral here.

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Whitney’s funeral at her hometown church is said to be a “home going service” of sorts for the singer, which will focus on celebrating her life rather than underscoring the somber aspects of the loss of the pop superstar.

On Friday, Houston’s close friend and rumored companion William Norwood (better known as Ray J, brother of artist Brandy Norwood), said the following via a statement: “Over the past few days I’ve tried to process the emptiness that I am experiencing. What my heart feels cannot be expressed in words. The world lost an icon, but I lost my close friend. Nippy, I miss you so much! You were so happy and full of love. Your smile will live in my heart forever.”

Earlier this week, Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown was rumored to have not been invited to Saturday’s funeral service, but People later reported that he will be attending to show his support for his and Whitney’s 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina.

No official cause of death has been announced yet following Houston’s autopsy, but Los Angeles police stated that an emergency call was placed at 3:23 p.m. last Saturday saying that the singer was unconscious on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Authorities arrived within two minutes, but attempts to resuscitate Houston failed and she was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. Whitney was at the hotel preparing to attend Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy Awards gala.

In the wake of Houston’s death, her 2000 collection Whitney – The Greatest Hits re-entered the Top 200 album chart at #6 this week on the strength of 64,000 copies sold. Other Whitney titles that received a posthumous bump  include Whitney Houston (in at #72, 8,000 copies), The Bodyguard soundtrack (#80, 8,000), I Look To You (#118, 5,000), Whitney (#122, 5,000) and The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack (#183, 4,000).

As for Houston’s individual songs, 887,000 downloads were sold this past week. “I Will Always Love You” led the pack with 195,000, and it re-entered the Hot 100 at #7. Previously the song spent 14 weeks at #1 between 1992 and 1993.

Did Whitney Houston’s music have a special significance in your life? Have you found yourself rediscovering her songs recently? Let us know below, or by following and hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook!