As her private, invitation-only memorial service draws near, details surrounding the ceremony honoring the life and legacy of Whitney Houston are made known.
According to published reports, the memorial service will be noon on Saturday (February 18) at New Hope Baptist Church in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Gospel singer and pastor Marvin L. Winans will eulogize the superstar, having also officiated her 1992 marriage to Bobby Brown. The family has asked that instead of sending flowers, fans donate to the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, which was previously known as the Franklin School when Whitney was a student.
As the state’s flags are flown at half-staff on Saturday, 1,500 individuals will make their way inside the church for the ceremony, which is said to include a song from godmother Aretha Franklin with other celebrities such as Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Ray J and Brandy, among others, in attendance. The service will be reportedly broadcast on television and online. Although her family has yet to confirm her burial location, TMZ reports she will be interred at Fairview Cemetery next to her father’s grave.