Feb 18, 2012

Saying their goodbyes: Whitney Houston's mother Cissy and daughter Bobbi Kristina lead family mourners at wake ahead of funeral in star's New Jersey hometown

Whitney Houston's mother Cissy, and her daughter Bobbi Kristina have led family and friends attending a private viewing at a funeral home in New Jersey today.
A tearful Cissy Houston arrived at Whigham Funeral Home in the singer's hometown of Newark as she joined close friend and relatives to pay their respects ahead of the funeral on Saturday. 
As well as being surrounded by family the 78-year-old was accompanied by a strong police presence who ensured the large crowds of fans who gathered outside the home kept their distance.
Whitney Houston's mother Cissy Houston, 78, was seen arriving at the funeral home for a special private viewing with close friends and family on Friday afternoon

Cissy was escorted into the building by a priest and held hands with a woman in a crisp white shirt. The former gospel singer was dressed smartly in a black coat with an orange and brown leopard print scarf wrapped around her shoulders. 
Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina, pictured in public for first time since she was rushed to hospital following the singer's death in a Beverly Hills hotel, arrived at the funeral home in dark jeans, white vest and a black jacket. 
The 18-year-old is the daughter of Houston and her former husband Bobby Brown. It has been reported that the teen will now live with her grandmother 'indefinitely' according to HollywoodLife.com.


                                                                                      





































Family including daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, along with her grandmother Cissy, 78, Miss Houston's mother, are due to say a more private goodbye at the pre-funeral service. 
The gold hearse which conveyed her body to the funeral home remained parked outside, while fans lined up to pay their respects. 
Already, some were waiting outside the temporarily crash barriers near the funeral home.


David Bowie will supposedly be among those attending the private service as will Janet Jackson, rapper Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and R n B singer R Kelly.
Alicia Keys will reportedly perform, as will Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, who was Miss Houston’s godmother.

 
The late singer’s husband Bobby Brown will also be attending after her family put aside their grievances and begrudgingly sent him an invitation.
It had been thought he would be kept away amid resentment he led his wife astray and fears he was trying to get his hands on her £25million fortune.
The 90-minute service will take place at noon local time at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where Miss Houston was first discovered as a teenager.
It will reportedly be a mixture of religious music and celebrity tributes including a speech from Kevin Costner, Miss Houston’s co-star in The Bodyguard.
The church’s choir will perform the processional and the opening and a house band will be on stage throughout.
The song list and who will be in the backing cast for each artist has not yet been worked out.