Whitney's ex 'not welcome'
Whitney Houston's former husband, Bobby Brown, has been told he will not be welcome at the singer's funeral.
TMZ reported yesterday that Brown was told to stay away from Houston's funeral, and sources have claimed her family do not want him there.
Brown has also not seen his daughter, Bobbi Kristina, since arriving in Los Angeles.
According to celebrity website TMZ's sources, Brown wanted to care for his daughter after she was twice admitted to hospital.
A private funeral will be held on Saturday in Houston's hometown of Newark, New Jersey, at the same modest church where the R&B vocalist honed her skills on her way to becoming one of the biggest pop stars of her generation.
The invitation-only service will be held at the New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston once sang in the gospel choir.
Several people expressed disappointment that a public memorial had not been scheduled. But some also said they understood why the funeral was being kept private.
"Maybe at some point down the road they might do something," said singer BJ Frazies.
"But it's like they're saying today they shared her for a long time, and they just want her to themselves for now."
Governor Chris Christie ordered flags to be flown at half-mast at state government buildings on Saturday, describing Houston as a "cultural icon" who belonged in the same category of New Jersey music history as Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.
"Her accomplishments were a great source of pride for the people of the state," he said.
Houston was one of the world's best-selling artists, turning out such hits as I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know, The Greatest Love of All and I Will Always Love You.
But as she struggled with drugs, her majestic voice became raspy and she could not hit the high notes.
In a desire to remember her when her voice soared and her personality was upbeat, Houston's fans have propelled her decades-old recordings to the top of sales charts on iTunes and Amazon.com. Twitter recorded more than 2.5million tweets about her within two hours of her death.
In the day-and-a-half after she died, US sales of Houston's albums skyrocketed, jumping nearly 60 times on the previous week's level to 101000.