By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Alicia Keys and actor
Kevin Costner will take part in the funeral of Whitney Houston
along with the pop star's godmother Aretha Franklin, her cousin
Dionne Warwick and singer Stevie Wonder, her family spokeswoman
Houston will be laid to rest on Saturday after the noon
(1700 GMT) service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New
Jersey, where she performed while growing up.
Police have urged the thousands of fans expected to crowd
the area to stay home and watch the funeral which will be
The singer died in a Beverly Hills hotel room almost a week
ago on the eve of the music industry's Grammy Awards. She was
found underwater in a bathtub in her hotel room, according to
Other top names taking part in the program include Houston's
mentor Clive Davis and Hollywood actor and producer Tyler Perry,
who donated his plane to fly Houston's body from Los Angeles to
Singer Elton John, Beyonce and rapper Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey
and Bill Cosby are also expected to attend the service,
according to media reports. It is not yet known if Houston's
ex-husband singer Bobby Brown will attend.
The death of the beloved pop star, who had a history of
addiction to alcohol and cocaine, stunned the music world, her
family and her fans.
Police plan to lock down the streets near Saturday's private
funeral and have said there will be no procession from the
funeral home to the church.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Coroner's Office has not released
details of an initial autopsy and is awaiting results of tests
for drugs, alcohol and other substances that may have been in
Officials investigating her death have also issued subpoenas
for her medical records after finding prescription drugs in her
In Los Angles, two radio personalities of KFI AM 640
station's "The John and Ken Show" -- have been suspended after
making disparaging comments and jokes about Houston and her
addiction to drugs.
(Reporting By Christine Kearney; editing by Patricia Reaney)
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