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Whitney Houston‘s body was flown from Los Angeles to her home city of Newark, N.J., on Monday night, several days before the music legend was scheduled to be laid to rest.
A private jet touched down at Teterboro Airport about 10:30 p.m., transporting her casket into a gold-hued hearse, which joined a cavalcade of three police cars to bring Houston to Whigham Funeral Home, the New York Post reported.
Houston’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, had been with the casket on the jet, and her mother, Cissy Houston, was in Newark to retrieve it.
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Sources were cited as telling the paper that the funeral would be held Friday in a venue fit for a Grammy-winning, chart-topping superstar: the Prudential Center, a concert and sports arena containing 19,000 seats. But on Tuesday, a family spokesperson said that was not the case, and that services will be held on Saturday at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church with doors open only to invited guests. Houston sang at the church as a child.
According to the Post, some 100 fans had gathered outside the funeral home — which did the services for Houston’s father, John, in 2003 — and someone was selling tribute T-shirts for $10 a pop.
(This recalls the aftermath of Michael Jackson‘s death, which resulted in a cottage industry of memorial merchandise that continues nearly three years later.)
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TMZ reported that director-mogul Tyler Perry lent the Houston family his private jet to deliver the body; on Friday, a slate of A-list stars and Houston pals including Perry will no doubt be on hand to mourn the “I Will Always Love You” singer.
Houston, 48, died Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. An autopsy was completed but the results were not revealed, pending a toxicology report and police investigation.
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