The family of Whitney Houston have chosen to keep her impending funeral private, yet will allow the ceremony to be broadcast on the Internet. In lieu of a public ceremony at the Prudential Center as was originally thought, the Associated Press will film and stream Houston’s Saturday funeral via their Livestream account, as well as to others via satellite. The invitation-only ceremony will take place on Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Houston began her singing career and many of her family members were heavily involved in the parish’s music program, including cousin Dionne Warwick. Family friend and gospel singer Marvin Williams will reportedly give the eulogy, followed by a burial at Fair View Cemetery in Westfield, N.J.
Despite being a private event, sharing the ceremony with Houston’s fans is reminiscent to Michael Jackson’s 2009 memorial, which was shown across every major networks from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and drew 31.1 million viewers. Though there is no public memorial scheduled for Houston in her home state, Gov. Chris Christie is moving forward with plans to have flags fly at half-staff across the Garden State. Christie replied to those critical of his decision to honor Houston with the same tribute given to fallen soldiers and police officers on Wednesday, taking to Twitter to cite her cultural contributions as both a recording artist and prominent New Jersey resident.