After much speculation, the plans for Whitney Houston’s funeral have been set. The fallen pop diva will be laid to rest in her native Newark, New Jersey, a week after her death in a Los Angeles hotel room.
A Houston family rep confirmed to MTV News that Houston’s invitation-only funeral will take place at New Baptist Church at noon on Saturday.
Los Angeles County coroner officials completed Houston’s autopsy Sunday, and her body was released to her family the very next day and then flown back east, according to CNN. There have been rumors that there will be a public memorial at Newark’s Prudential Center with a ceremony similar to Michael Jackson’s high-profile farewell, but USA Today is reporting that such a plan was never in place and as of right now, the funeral is the only scheduled sendoff for the 48-year-old star.
As a youth in Newark, Houston attended New Hope Baptist Church. In a statement issued to MTV News on Sunday, the Houston family expressed their grief in this trying time. “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy, and we will miss her terribly,” the statement read. “We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends.”
The cause of Houston’s death is still unknown. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office continues to quell any speculation. “I know there are reports that she maybe was drowned or did she overdose, but we won’t make a final determination until all the tests are in,” he told CNN.
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