Whitney Houston's Body Arrives at Funeral Home as Burial Plans Formally Announced

Singer's remains touch down in New Jersey last night as home's funeral director confirms that service will be held this Saturday

By Gina Serpe Feb 14, 2012 4:16 PMTags
Whitney HoustonDave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Whitney Houston is one step closer to resting in peace.

After being transported cross-country yesterday, and touching down in New Jersey's Teterboro Airport last night, the singer's remains, ensconced in a golden hearse, made their way to the Whigham Funeral Home late yesterday. The home has been tasked with organizing the funeral service of the 48-year-old icon and today made its first official announcement as to its plans.

Despite earlier reports speculating that a memorial would be held before the end of the week at the Prudential Center, the owner of the funeral home spoke to media this morning and announced instead that Whitney's funeral would be taking place this Saturday at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church.

That much, at least, was hardly a surprise, as Houston was not only born in Newark but got her singing start at that very church—where, incidentally, her mother, Cissy Houston, served as musical director and her cousin Dionne Warwick also sang.

The ceremony will begin at noon and is invite-only. There are currently no plans for a public memorial.

No other details were given, but while the service will be a private one, that won't stop mourning fans from turning up and offering support at the venue, just as they did last night when Houston's body arrived in the state.

The private jet carrying Houston's remains, reportedly owned by Tyler Perry, touched down in Jersey last night at 10:30 p.m. local time. Several cars, including the gilded-looking hearse, were waiting as the plane taxied into the hanger. From there, her body was driven straight to the funeral home, where it was greeted not only by fans but by Houston's grieving mother, Cissy, as well.

Meanwhile, despite reports to the contrary, Newark Mayor Cory Booker's press secretary tells E! News that the Houston family "has not reached out to the Mayor directly or the city" with regards to setting up a public memorial for the singer.