- (Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Whitney Houston's funeral was originally supposed to be an intimate event that would only be open to family and friends. However, it has evolved into a nationally televised event getting major coverage.
Several television networks will feature live coverage of Whitney Houston's funeral at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., on Saturday morning. Originally Houston's family planned to hold a private funeral in the church where she was raised and later have a public memorial.
However, Houston's funeral is becoming a major network event that will also be streamed live online at http://livestream.com/aplive.
Houston's funeral will be covered live by BET at 8:30 a.m., followed by an hour-long special called "BET Remembers Whitney Houston." The special will feature BET News Correspondent Bevy Smith's interviews of Houston's "confidants and colleagues," according to Hollywoodreporter.com.
Kim Burrell, Kelley Price, Faith Evans, Ledisi, Tisha Martin Campbell, India Arie and Tichina Arnold will all be interviewed by Smith for the special.
CNN will also show live coverage of Houston's funeral with anchors, Piers Morgan, Soledad O'Brien and Don Lemon. Followed by the funeral, they will air a special called "Whitney Houston: Life, Death, Music" at 11:00 a.m.
Bounce TV and E! plan to show Houston's funeral live with no commercial breaks. E! will be bringing coverage from inside the funeral, while encouraging viewers to tweet about the event using the hash-tag #WhitneyTributes, according to USA Today.
E!'s coverage will begin at 11:00 a.m., with Anchor Jason Kennedy, E!'s Chief News Correspondent Ken Baker, and E! Online's Senior Editor Marc Malkin reporting on up to the minute details on Houston's death and her funeral.
Fox News Channel will start its live coverage of Houston's funeral at 8:30 a.m., and bring reports from outside of the New Hope Baptist Church. HLN and MSNBC will also cover Houston's funeral and air their own network exclusive specials about Whitney Houston.
Houston's funeral will be attended by her ex-husband Bobby Brown, her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Dionne Warwick, Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry, Kevin Costner, Cece Winans, Rickey Minor, Donnie McClurkin, and Kim Burrell, along with other close friends and family.
Special guests, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, have planned performances in tribute of Houston and Clive Davis will be a speaker.