Whitney Houston funeral set for Saturday

Whitney Houston will be laid to rest at a private funeral on Saturday, one week after she was found dead in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton.
The invitation-only ceremony — which is said to include a performance by her godmother, legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin — will be held at New Hope Baptist Church in Houston’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Though the general public are not allowed to attend, they will be able to watch live on the Internet thanks to an Associated Press news feed.

After reports that he had been banned by family, Houston’s troubled ex-husband Bobby Brown is said to be back on the guest list. The two divorced in 2007, ending a 15-year marriage marred by abuse and drug addiction.

Houston’s music touched her fans deeply, and there has been an overwhelming outpouring of grief and admiration, despite her personal demons. A makeshift memorial has been erected outside New Hope, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff on Saturday.

Even Osama Bin Laden was a fan of Houston’s. A former mistress of the assassinated terrorist mastermind alleges in a new book that Bin Laden pined for the singer and fantasized about murdering Bobby Brown in order to claim Houston as his own.