*Police on Thursday said they plan to lock down streets near Saturday’s private funeral for Whitney Houston in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey and urged the thousands of fans expected to crowd the area to stay home, reports Reuters.
Houston will be laid to rest after the service at the New Hope Baptist Church, where she performed while growing up. Several blocks around the church will be cordoned off and fans will not be allowed near it, Newark police said on Thursday.
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio urged fans to watch the funeral on television – and he added there would be no procession from the funeral home where Houston’s body is resting to the church.
Meanwhile, Aretha Franklin as well as Stevie Wonder will perform at the service, a family spokesman said.
Houston, 48, died in a Beverly Hills hotel room Saturday on the eve of the music industry’s Grammy Awards. She was found underwater in a bathtub in her hotel room, according to police. Officials investigating Houston’s death have issued subpoenas for her medical records after finding prescription drugs in her hotel room.
The Los Angeles Coroner’s office said the move was standard procedure in such cases. The office has declined to release details of an initial autopsy on the singer, and is awaiting results of tests for drugs, alcohol and other substances that may have been in her system.