New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will pay tribute to Whitney Houston by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff during her funeral service on Saturday.
"Obviously, Whitney Houston was an important part of the fabric — the cultural fabric of this state," Christie said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that Houston, a Newark native, is in the "pantheon of great New Jersey musical talents" like Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.
"Her terribly premature death is an awful loss for her family and the incredible New Jersey musical family," he said. "Our prayers are with her family."
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Christie, who made the same order last year after the death of Clarence Clemons
, said his office is in contact with Houston's family for further details about the service.
The invitation-only funeral will take place Saturday at noon at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. The body of Houston, who was found dead Saturday at 48, was flown back to Newark late Monday night.