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Whitney Houston's Funeral Will Be Held At Her Childhood Church

Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon
Getty Images
Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.

Pop superstar Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J., church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Houston was found dead over the weekend at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. The cause of death is still unknown, though CNN reported yesterday that Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said some prescription bottles were found in her hotel room, but the amount "was less than usually present in deaths attributed to overdoses."

The Washington Postreports that the singer's body was flown from Los Angeles to New Jersey last night.

The website TMZ reports that Houston's body arrived at the funeral home in a golden hearse. Her mother, Cissy Houston, waited outside along with many fans.

The AP reports that Houston was born in Newark and she was only a child when she began singing at New Hope, "where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years. Her cousin singer Dionne Warwick also sang in its choir."

Update at 11:08 a.m. ET. Funeral Will Be Invitation Only:

The AP reports that the Houston family decided that the funeral will be a private event.

"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," Carolyn Whigham, the funeral home owner, told the AP. "The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time."

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.