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Stars Line up to Perform at Whitney Houston's Funeral

Friday, 17 Feb 2012 11:56 AM

 

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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 said.

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 broadcast live.

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 police.

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 Newark.

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 her system.

Officials investigating her death have also issued subpoenas for her medical records after finding prescription drugs in her hotel room.

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)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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