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IN MEMORIAM

ADMIRERS

Clive Davis Hails Whitney’s Genius

Stevie Wonder admits he had a “little crush” on her.

In his heartfelt speech, longtime producer Clive Davis spoke mostly of working with Whitney, noting that she never let her genius go to her head. “When she broke that all-time record of seven consecutive number ones, we just felt utter disbelief,” he said, before adding, “She never took anything for granted. She was never arrogant. She was always appreciative.” With regards to her personal life, Davis acknowledged her struggles, but said she was always there for him when he needed her. “She defined not only pure talent, but true heart and soul as well.” Stevie Wonder then sat down at the piano to perform two songs, including the original version of “High in the Sky.” Before he got going, he let the world in on a little secret: “In my fantasy world, I had a little crush on Whitney.”

Read it at The Huffington Post

REMEMBERING WHITNEY

Costner Tribute Gets Standing Ovation

Costner Tribute Gets Standing Ovation Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

Alicia Keys holds back tears in performance.

Kevin Costner received a standing ovation at the end of his tribute to Whitney Houston at her funeral on Saturday. He reminisced about being just like her, drawing laughs from the audience, in that he also went to Baptist church as a child. He also spoke at length about filming The Bodyguard together, Whitney's occasional lack of confidence, and her career-defining song, "I Will Always Love You," which almost didn't make it into the movie. "You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was," Costner exclaimed. "A lot of leading men could have played my part...But you, Whitney, I truly believe, were the only one who could have played Rachel Marron at that time." Alicia Keys took the podium next, holding back tears while belting out "Prelude to a Kiss."

Read it at The Daily Beast

MEMORIAL

Final Goodbye for Whitney Houston

Final Goodbye for Whitney Houston Bullit Marquez / AP Photo

Costner, Wonder, and more celebrate her life.

At the Whitney Houston funeral, ABC News reportst that Bobby Brown left the church and drove off with his son Landon and daughter LaPrincia in a black Cadillac Escalade. The highlight of the funeral so far is when Kevin Costner took the stage and elicited some laughs while cracking jokes about sneaking into church as a child and casting Whitney in The Bodyguard. He signed off saying "Off you go," and that when Whitney sings in front of God she shouldn't worry because she'll be "good enough." After a visibly emotional Alicia Keys sang, Mentor Clive Davis said of Whitney, "You wait for a voice like that for a lifetime." Though it’s a private invitation-only funeral, is being livestreamed across the globe Saturday from the New Hope Baptist Church, Houston’s childhood church. Aretha Franklin is no longer singing during the service due to a sudden illness.

Read it at The Los Angeles Times

UNFORTUNATE

Franklin Explains Canceled Performance

Queen of Soul had leg spasms.

After news spread that Aretha Franklin had bowed out of performing at Whitney Houston's funeral on Saturday, the Queen of Soul explained that leg spasms were to blame. "Regretfully, I am so sorry that I was unable to be with you at Whitney's service today," Franklin said in a statement, adding that she intended to be there but that "terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles" kept her awake all night, on the heels of another performance.  Franklin gave another tribute to Houston on Friday night at Radio City Music Hall, and so is staying off her feet today to prepare for yet another concert tonight.

Read it at People

Family, friends and stars gathered at her childhood church in Newark, New Jersey, to say a final farewell.

Bobby Brown Arrives at Whitney’s Funeral

A somberly clad Bobby Brown arrives and slowly enters the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.

Cory Booker Speaks as Bobby Brown Comforts Family

GETTING READY

Newark Preps for Whitney Funeral

Newark Preps for Whitney Funeral Don Emmert, AFP / Getty Images

Huge crowds expected Saturday.

The city of Newark, N.J., is manning up for what is expected to be a massive crowd outside of Whitney Houston’s funeral on  Saturday, held at the church she grew up in. The ceremony itself will be private, meaning throngs of fans and media are expected to surround the six-block area that law-enforcement officers are planning to cordon off. An all-star cast of celebrities are expected to attend, meaning worries over paparazzi and news cameras have been stressed. A family-only viewing was held on Friday afternoon in Newark prior to the invitation-only funeral that is said to include only 1,500 people. Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags to fly at half-mast Saturday in the state of New Jersey to honor Houston, a decision that has drawn the ire of critics.

Read it at USA Today

TRIBUTE

Aretha, Stevie to Sing at Houston Funeral

Aretha, Stevie to Sing at Houston Funeral Mel Evans / AP Photo

In Newark Saturday.

Aretha Franklin, godmother to the late Whitney Houston, is scheduled to perform at the singer's funeral service in Newark's New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday. Her friend Stevie Wonder will also sing in the star-studded affair, as Oprah, Beyonce, Elton John, Alicia Keys, David Bowie, Bill Cosby, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and many others are expected to attend the invitation-only service. Houston's cousin, Dionne Warwick, filmmaker Tyler Perry, her mentor Clive Davis, and her sister-in-law and manager Patricia Houston are scheduled to speak at the church where she grew up.

Read it at Star-Ledger

FAREWELL

Sources: Brown Not Banned from Funeral

Sources: Brown Not Banned from Funeral Rich Schultz

Kevin Costner slated to speak.

Family sources said Thursday that Bobby Brown will attend Whitney Houston’s funeral this weekend, despite earlier reports that Brown had been banned due to his tumultuous marriage with Brown. “He is not being banned,” said a close family friend. “That is simply untrue.” Kevin Costner, Houston’s co-star in the 1992 hit film The Bodyguard will speak at the private funeral, which will take place at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church. Also slated to speak is her record producer Clive Davis, and Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will reportedly sing. Newark police said they plan to lock down the streets on Saturday, and they urged thousands of fans to stay home. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office said Thursday that they are seeking Houston’s recent medical records to help find clues into her mysterious death.

Read it at People

REPORT

Houston Drank Heavily at Hotel

Houston Drank Heavily at Hotel Jakubaszek / Getty Images

On two mornings last week.

A source briefed on Whitney Houston’s behavior before her tragic death tells CNN that the singer was drinking heavily on two mornings last week. Houston reportedly ordered drinks before 10 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday from the hotel’s bar and pool. The guests who saw this say Houston caused a ruckus, complaining that her beverages were “watered down” or stuffed with ice. The singer was also “disheveled” and wearing mismatched clothing. The source tells CNN that Houston jumped in and out of the pool—and did somersaults. While some of the drinking was done alone, she was also with an entourage and a male companion. On her final day, Saturday, she was seen drinking by the pool in the morning. Houston's funeral service this Saturday will be broadcast live, and jumbo screens will be set up outside the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J.

Read it at CNN

MOURNING

Aretha to Perform at Houston’s Funeral

Aretha to Perform at Houston’s Funeral Mel Evans / AP Photo

Private service will be held Saturday.

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.

Read it at NBC New York

INVESTIGATION

Subpoenas Likely in Houston’s Death

Subpoenas Likely in Houston’s Death Valerie Macon / Getty Images

For doctors, pharmacies.

A source told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that investigators are likely to hand out subpoenas to Whitney Houston’s doctors and pharmacies to determine if there is any relationship between her death and the prescription drugs found in her hotel room. Authorities have collected several prescription-drug bottles from Houston’s suite at the Beverly Hills Hilton, where she was found dead on Saturday night. A police source would not go into specifics of the case, but said it is standard practice for investigators to look into whether she was receiving too many prescriptions, whether the prescriptions were actually what was in the bottles.

Read it at Los Angeles Times

FAMILY DRAMA

Bobby Brown Can’t See Daughter

Bobby Brown Can’t See Daughter Jim Ruymen / Reuters-Landov

Houston’s family denying him visits.

Three days after Whitney Houston’s death, her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, hasn’t been able to see their daughter, who was hospitalized for anxiety the night that Houston died. Sources tell TMZ that Brown is furious at Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother, who is allegedly keeping him from seeing 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina. Brown flew to Los Angeles on Sunday night to see his daughter, who is being cared for by Cissy and the rest of Whitney’s immediate family at a home in the L.A. area.

Read it at TMZ

Memorial

Whitney Houston’s Body Comes Home

Whitney Houston’s Body Comes Home Rich Schultz / AP Photo

Funeral will be held in New Jersey.

Whitney Houston’s body is back in her hometown of Newark, N.J. It was flown from Los Angeles on a plane owned by Tyler Perry, and driven from the airport in a golden hearse to the Whigham funeral home in Newark. A crowd of fans gathered outside the home. It was announced Tuesday morning that a private, invitation-only funeral will be held Saturday at Houston’s childhood church. Whether a public viewing will take place is still unknown. The singer’s body was found submerged in her bathtub at the Beverly Hills hotel on Saturday. The Los Angeles coroner says prescription drugs were found in Houston’s room but her cause of death is still unknown. A toxicology report and official investigation may take weeks to complete.

Read it at Newark Star Ledger

Long Way Down

Whitney’s Road to Ruin

She had a voice like an angel. Pop songs like 'Greatest Love of All' made her a superstar. Then she realized she wanted something else. Jacob Bernstein reports.

Just days before her death, Whitney Houston had been talking with her mentor Clive Davis about how she needed to take better care of herself. She was saying that she was ready to go again, that she wanted to be the kind of singer she once was. And he was telling her how crucial it was that she quit smoking, how it was destroying her once formidable pipes.

Whitney Houston

Houston wanted to be thought of as more than the prom queen of soul. (Jakubaszek / Getty Images)

Still, it was kind and friendly, as their relationship usually was.

“He was the Jewish uncle in a sea of lunatics,” says one source, a musical label executive.

Plus

Full Coverage

A Final Goodbye to Whitney

A Final Goodbye to Whitney

Friends and family told touching anecdotes at her funeral Saturday. By Jacob Bernstein.

GOODBYE

Best Moments From Whitney's Funeral

Teen Angst

Was Whitney’s Daughter Found Getting High?

Houston's Memorable Duets

Mariah Carey tweeted that she was 'heartbroken' over the loss of her great friend and legendary singer Whitney Houston.The talented singers joined forces in this jaw dropping performance at the 1999 Academy Awards.

  1. Whitney's Stunning National Anthem Play

    Whitney's Stunning National Anthem

  2. Allison Samuels Discusses Whitney Houston Play

    Allison Samuels Discusses Whitney Houston

  3. Houston's Memorable Duets Play

    Houston's Memorable Duets

whitney-houston-dies-box2

Watch: Whitney's No. 1 Hits

Watch video of the legendary singer’s chart toppers, from ‘Saving All My Love for You’ to ‘Exhale.’