18 Feb '12, 6am

America gears up for Houston's final send-off

NEW YORK - A star-studded line-up will sing and speak at pop star Whitney Houston's funeral, from Alicia Keys and Kevin Costner to the soul and gospel music royalty from which she hails, including her cousin Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. Houston will be laid to rest today after an invitation-only memorial service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where Houston groomed her voice singing in the church choir with her mother Cissy Houston, a soul and gospel singer who once backed up Franklin. The singer, who rose to fame with a soaring voice and hits in the mid-1980s such as "Saving All My Love For You," died in a Beverly Hills hotel room almost a week ago on the eve of the music industry's Grammy Awards. She was found underwater in her hotel room's bathtub. A cause of death has yet to be determined. Along with her signature song, "I Will Always Love ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Entertainment/EDC120218-000008...

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