herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Whitney's body arrives home in golden hearse

WHITNEY HOUSTON'S body has arrived in her home state of New Jersey, ahead of a funeral expected later this week.

A plane owned by actor-producer Tyler Perry landed at an airport in New Jersey, where security was tight.

A gold hearse left the airport and arrived just before midnight at the Whigham funeral home in Newark, the city where Houston was born.

A spokeswoman for Houston's family said plans for a memorial had not yet been completed, but media reports have said a public viewing and funeral would be held later this week.

Dozens of Houston fans went to the funeral home, where they played her songs, sang, lit candles to remember her and hoped to get a glimpse of her casket.

Houston's family raised the possibility of holding a wake on Thursday and a funeral on Friday at Newark's Prudential Center, which hosts sporting events and seats about 18,000 people.

Houston's relatives were also debating whether to have a smaller service at New Hope Baptist Church. They planned to meet today with officials to finalise the details, a family source said.

Houston began singing as a child at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music for many years. Her cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, also sang in its choir.

Yesterday mourners left flowers, balloons and candles at the church.

Houston died in a Beverly Hills hotel room on Saturday on the eve of the Grammy Awards, and speculation has arisen that she died of a drug overdose.

hnews@herald.ie

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