NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Pop star Whitney Houston’s funeral service will be held Saturday in the church where she first showcased her singing talents as a child.
The owner of the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark said Tuesday that Houston’s funeral would be held at noon Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
The 48-year-old Houston died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.
Her body was returned to New Jersey late Monday.
Houston was born in Newark and was raised in nearby East Orange. She began singing as a child at New Hope Baptist Church, 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.
On Monday, mourners left flowers, balloons and candles for Houston at the wrought-iron fence around the tall brick church, which sits near the edge of an abandoned housing project near the train line leading to New York City.