Whitney Houston's Funeral Planned for Saturday

Whitney Houston Performing 1986 - H 2012
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Whitney Houston Performing 1986 - H 2012

The singer's family is keeping it private, with an invite-only service in Newark, N.J.

After initial reports naming the 19,000-seat Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., as the site of Whitney Houston's funeral, her family releases an announcement to the contrary: the services will be private, and held on Saturday at the church where Houston sang growing up.

A Houston family spokesperson said the venue will be at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church with doors open only to invited guests, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Carolyn Whigham -- funeral director of the Whigham Funeral Home, which is handling the services -- said there would be "nothing for the public," including a public viewing.

"It was the family's decision," Whigham said. "They have shared her for 30-some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell to their daughter, mother."

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A memorial for Houston might be scheduled at a later date.

The music legend's body was flown from Los Angeles to Newark Monday night. 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 the 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.

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.