Stars expected at Whitney Houston funeral
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The private funeral service Saturday for singer Whitney Houston promises to be a star-studded event, as major figures from music, film and television are expected to pay their respects.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, told The Associated Press Thursday that Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, Houston's godmother, will sing at the invitation-only service at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church. Foster said invitations were sent to Kevin Costner, Houston's co-star in the film "The Bodyguard"; Oprah Winfrey; and Houston's ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, father of Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.
Music mogul Clive Davis, Houston's longtime mentor, will speak at the funeral. The eulogy will be given by Pastor Marvin L. Winans, of the gospel-music quartet The Winans, a family friend who officiated at Houston's 1992 wedding.
Singer Beyoncé and her singer and music-producer husband, Jay-Z, will attend, as will comedian Bill Cosby and singer Elton John, a city official told the northern New Jersey newspaper The Star-Ledger.
E! Online added that the guest list will include singers Brandy, Chaka Khan, CeCe Winans and Darlene Love; songwriter Diane Warren; record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid; and Brandy's brother, singer Ray J, whom Houston dated on and off after her 2007 divorce from Brown.
Houston's cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, was helping with the funeral arrangements, Warwick's publicist told the news network.