Aretha to Perform at Houston’s Funeral

    People walk past, a large image of Whitney Houston displayed on the side of the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. Houston's funeral will be held Saturday in the church where she first showcased her singing talents as a child, her family choosing to remember her in a private service rather than in a large event at an arena. Officials had discussed the possibility of holding a memorial at the Prudential Center, a major sports and entertainment venue that can seat about 18,000 people, but the funeral home said it had been ruled out. Houston, 48, died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was set to perform at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards bash. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Mel Evans / AP Photo

    Whitney Houston’s godmother, the incomparable Aretha Franklin, will sing at the pop diva’s funeral in New Jersey this weekend. The service will take place at New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston sang in the choir as a child, and will be a private affair. The family had considered having a memorial service at the 18,000-seat Prudential Center, but in the end decided on a more personal ceremony. The event will be invitation-only, though one pool camera will be allowed to broadcast from the funeral and officials are expecting throngs of fans to line the streets around the church.

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