Houston's longtime mentor, Clive Davis, will speak at the private service, and longtime family friend, gospel singer Marvin Winans, will deliver the eulogy. Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry, Rickey Minor, CeCe Winans and Houston's aunt, Dionne Warwick, will also take part, publicist Kristen Foster told the news agency.
Foster also confirmed that Houston's ex, Bobby Brown, and her Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner have been invited to the service. People reported Thursday that Costner would also speak at the event, but that has not been confirmed. The magazine also reported that Brown would be in attendance at the service, but planned to leave immediately after for a New Edition concert that night.
Franklin paid tribute to Houston in the new issue of People. "We were all aware of her challenges," Franklin, 69, told the magazine "And I was always rooting for her." The Queen of Soul remained optimistic while reflecting on Houston's recent years, when continued drug use damaged her famous voice. "Seeing previews for the new Sparkle movie I thought, boy she looks good, healthy, fresh and has that twinkle in her eyes," Franklin said. "In looking back now, I recall her European tour: Still exciting, but unable to sing what she wanted to had to be disheartening. And yet she stood night after night and endured unappreciative audiences with the heart of a champion."
Houston's funeral will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. — the same church where Houston first sang as a young girl. Although the service will be private, it will be streamed online.
Houston died on Feb. 11 in Los Angeles at the age 48.