Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin to perform at Whitney Houston funeral
Whitney Houton’s funeral service Saturday will be graced by some major star power as friends and family pay tribute to the late singer. Iconic voices Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are slated to perform at Houston's memorial service in Newark, N.J., a representative for the singer's family told Reuters on Thursday.
Invitations also went out to the singer’s ex-husband Bobby Brown, her “The Bodyguard” costar Kevin Costner and Oprah Winfrey, among others. Houston’s longtime producer, Clive Davis, who held an annual pre-Grammy party at which Whitney was supposed to perform last Saturday before she died, will speak at the funeral.
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, confirmed that Donnie McClurkin, Tyler Perry, Kim Burrell, Rickey Minor, Alicia Keys, Cece Winans -- who is godmother to Houston's child Bobbi Kristina -- and Houston’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, will be part of the funeral program.
The noon service will be held at New Hope Baptist Church, which Houston attended and sang in while growing up. Newark police said streets would be shut down for six square blocks around the church. In an attempt to avoid a dangerous influx of people flocking to the area, the private service will streamed online and broadcast on network television.
Police have issued subpoenas for Houston’s medical records after the discovery of prescription drugs in the Beverly Hilton Hotel suite where Houston was found dead Saturday at age 48. An autopsy has been conducted, but the Los Angeles County coroner's office has not released details.
-- Nate Jackson
Photo: Stevie Wonder with Aretha Franklin last month at a BET Honors 2012 dinner in Washington. Credit: Kris Connor / Getty Images