Tempers Flare As Whitney Houston Fans Cry Foul Over Being Left Out Of Star’s Viewing

As Who's Who Of Hollywood Arrives, The Taxpayer Wonders Why Not Us, Too?

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Whitney Houston’s family held a private viewing Friday at the Whigham Funeral Home in advance of the pop icon’s funeral this weekend.

LIVE VIDEO: Click Here to watch live video of the funeral service Saturday at noon

Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, appeared at the private viewing. It was the first time she saw her mother since she died.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston’s Life Remembered | NJ Remembers Whitney Houston

Security was very tight around the funeral home in order to give the family privacy. Police closed down Martin Luther King Boulevard. Near the funeral home fans were not allowed near the inner perimeter that had been been set up around the church, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

The service inside was said to be sad, but at the same time celebratory, with Houston dressed in all white, her slender body not in a coffin, but fully displayed for family and friends who were sworn to secrecy.

“We want to keep it more peaceful and keep it quiet, and keep love and understanding and let’s keep the ministry of the music and what she meant,” family friend Steven Kahn told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

As three limos pulled out of the funeral home with a police escort fans were pushed away and moved up the street behind barricades. According to CBS 2’s Christine Sloan, that’s when tempers started to flare.

“I’m a taxpayer in the city … born and raised in this city … They should stop treating us like animals. We’re taxpayers … We made this lady who she is today,” resident Floyd Bishop said.

“Cissy Houston should come out and wave to us and say thank you. She shouldn’t have them keep us away. We bought her music. We helped succeed in what she had done over the years,” added Charlene Williams.

“Taxpayers paying for all this, treating us like we’re from the street or something. Make no sense,” resident Shawn Holsted said.

Because of the Houston family’s request for privacy police have had no choice but to keep the crowds away. Many fans understood.

“She came back to her home and we love her for that,” Carol Ray said.

“We would like closer … We are here to honor her memory … She’s from Newark and East Orange so everybody knows and we want to give her that respect,” Estelle Buchanan said.

Later, the Houston family funeral director, Carolyn Whigham, hand-delivered a small, colorful brochure on the life of Houston to those that had gathered — a token of thanks for disappointed fans.

“C’mon fans, thank you, you’re more than welcome. This is what Whigham Funeral Home is doing on behalf, I believe, in giving,” she said.

Earlier Friday, fans were able to share their memories of Whitney Houston in a condolence book.

Following the private service on Saturday, Houston will be laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield next to her father, John Russell Houston Jr., who was buried there in 2003.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With Fans At The Funeral Home

Fans and childhood friends who won’t be attending the funeral have been leaving heartfelt messages of sympathy outside the funeral home.

“It’s the least that I could do for her, just to say goodbye,” said fan Simone Mercury. “My last final goodbyes to her.”

The throngs of fans being kept out of the private funeral are people who traveled here from near and far, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

“Greatest singer in the world as far as I’m concerned. The least I could do, really, is come here and pay my respects,” said Peter Chamberlain of England.

“She will always be present in our hearts and so special,” added Sarah Brinson of Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

Houston’s funeral will be a who’s who of Hollywood. Among the invited celebrities is Kevin Costner, who co-starred with the singer in “The Bodyguard,” her mentor Clive Davis, Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, and Houston’s Ex Husband, Bobby Brown.

Houston’s godmother, Aretha Franklin, is expected to sing. On Friday night, while pleasing a packed crowd inside Radio City Music Hall, the “Queen of Soul” sat behind a piano and gave a touching and heartfelt tribute to her goddaughter with her rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Franklin will continue her emotional dedication at Houston’s funeral Saturday at the request Houston’s mother, Cissy.

Cece Winans, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson are also expected to perform. Houston’s mother may also speak.

whitney memorial Tempers Flare As Whitney Houston Fans Cry Foul Over Being Left Out Of Stars Viewing

A dress, shoes and picture of Whitney Houston on display outside the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 (credit: Kathryn Brown/CBS 2)

The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church said the service will be similar to what Houston experienced as a child singing in the choir.

“This is a church and we’re going to have some church in the celebration,” said Pastor Joe A. Carter.

It’s a celebration that will steer clear of the cloud that engulfed Houston in recent years.

There is new video of a disheveled looking Houston outside a Los Angeles nightclub last Thursday and reports of hard partying at the Beverly Hilton, with the star drinking heavily as early as 10 a.m. on the Saturday before she died.

Police are looking at surveillance tapes and have subpoenaed Houston’s doctors.

A cause of death is listed as “deferred” for now, pending toxicology reports.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • carspiv

    Judging by that still from the video “tribute”, it looks like Aretha Franklin might have swallowed Whitney’s corpse whole. That’s A LOTTA WOMAN right there!

  • Robert Treat

    In that entire mob outside only 16 missed worked. Did someone say Newark taxpayers? I could understand the both of them being mad.

  • Dave

    Why do we always look up to people that are self destructive, she had an amazing voice that was given to her by God and she decided that it what better to use drugs then use her talent and for that we are all supposed to be sorry for her. I am not happy she died but I really think that we as a human race need to look up to people that are truly better people instead of people that are famous because they can sing or dance. We should be looking up to people that have truly helped mankind and not just entertained them.

  • ???

    Maybe it is hoax like Elvis.Never know.

  • Real Rick

    Funny how the sign read “God took her” Don’t think God had anything to do with her drug-induced death. Pray that she went to be with God, but don’t blame Him.

  • 1972Patriot

    Whitney’s family should be left alone to grieve in their own way. Maybe Whitney would have preferred what her family has chosen. These so-called fans should back off and show a little respect.

  • LastExitNY

    In the liberal-created land of gimme gimme gimme, people think they have the right to a funeral viewing..wake up dumbasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jack nichols

    Another one bites the dust..oh well

  • BOB

    they should start an “owf” movement….


  • jsquyres

    typical behavior from those people.

  • Jeff

    Just goes to show you how unstable some fans get. They somehow think they’re so close to the celebrity that they are the same as family. Race doesn’t matter. Wits have done it with Elvis. Some people are just nuts.

  • whenaretheyleaving

    Exactly, and it sux to coexist with a stoopid public that cares more about the latter

  • Archie Bunker

    Silly negros. Go fight over some shoes now.

  • steve

    well said sir, well said sir.

  • Angel

    He’s right,what kind of message are we sending our children when we glorify drug addicts.Yes she was talented.Yes she was the great WH.But she died a drug addict and we can’t celebrate that.Most of her fans are Christian,how can you celebrate a person who commited the greatest sin known to Christians?And guaranteed herself a trip to hell.

    • You need a reality check

      Say what? Shoot.. Elvis was a drug addict and people just Worship and glorify the hell out of him. And they even have Graceland has a shrine for him.

    • mjazz

      You keep saying that but the Bible doesn’t say that.

  • Kyle Oster

    Someone dies. The media turns it into a spectacle. People sit and watch.

    Ever heard of Jason Dunham, Ross McGinnis, Michael Monsoor or Paul Smith?

    Look them up and then look at yourself in the mirror then punch yourself for wasting time arguing about a nobody in the grand scheme of things.

    Google those people. Who’s a hero, Houston or Dunham, Houston or McGinnis, Houston or Monsoor, Houston or Smith?

  • kabe

    I guess the Funeral Director handing out free brochures on Houston is better than dropping business cards in a hospital elevator

  • DigitalBob

    I’m guessing all the human debris hanging around a funeral home on a Friday afternoon looking for a dead celebrity sighting really don’t pay taxes.

  • DigitalBob


  • Perturbed_Redneck

    We all have our demons.

  • tonyl

    Whitney Houston was a great talent. Maybe once in a decade kind of talent. She let her success and talent get in to her head. Which led her in to the life of drugs and alcohol. Success and power can destroy people from inside without them knowing its doing to them. We have examples after examples. It’s sad but true. I hope her daughter does not follow her mother and of course her drug addict gangster father who also bears responsibility for Whitney’s drug addiction and death.

  • bill

    Wow even in death the democrat obama supporters still think they own your body. So I guess if you willingly spend on something YOU want that person or company who sold it to you now owes you for life?
    Why is it just because black people want something all of a sudden it is their right to it?
    The druggie is dead so leave the family and friends alone you punks.

  • Larissa7

    While I mourn the passing of Whitney Houston, I will be very glad when all of this is over. How horribly Whitney’s mother must have suffered to watch her beautiful daughter sink into years of decline and self-abuse. Yet, it is still a shock when the end comes.

  • Tortillapete

    I wanna piece o’ dat!


    Black america

  • tony

    im amazed at home many people seem to genuinely care about someone who couldnt care less about them. she could sing, so that makes her someone to care about? derek jeter is a great ballplayer but if he croaks it aint affecting my day plans…

  • kissmyass


  • lotta

    I smell a riot.

  • Clay

    Black idol worshipers. Evolution has passed them by.

  • jj

    Whitney was a beautiful woman and her life cannot be measured solely by her drug use. She hurt no one but herself. I am not condoning the use of drugs but as human beings we must have some compassion. Her beautiful and I mean beautiful voice was a gift we all got to share for a while. Now she will will fill heaven with song. How dare anyone who is not a member of her family feel that they have a right to be at her funeral. As a enterainer Whitney’s family had to share her with the rest of us, but in death the only people who have a right to Whitney is her family and friends, not fans, not unless that is what the family wants. No one bought her music because they expected to be present at her funeral, they bought because they enjoyed it. Fans expect far too much.

  • biff

    crak hed killed herself.she don duserf no respekt. Thought you might understand better if I wrote in ebonics.

  • Chicago Margie

    Rude rude people trying to horn their way into this family’s darkest hour. Who do they think they are? They say “taxpayers”? They say “we bought her music, we made her who she is”? What a bunch of stupid selfish people. Leave the grieving family alone!

    • Reality Check

      Do her pusher’s get to claim unemployment benefits? How does that work?

  • ChrisV

    Prescription drugs..big pharma takes another….keep your pill bottles filled America….they are legal after-all….

  • OklahomaBound

    Ah so the entitlement class feels because they bought Whitney’s music that that came with a ticket to her funeral. Well I guess when you think other people owe you healthcare, a home, food, contraceptives, a job and a pile of Obama money then I guess thinking you’re owed a front seat at a funeral is small thing……at least they paid for the music while the rest of us have to give them the rest out of our own pockets.

  • bill.1942

    Such a fuss over just another dead junkie.

  • gomez

    she was a typical drug abusing black, who wasted her life, and btw, she was a racist.

    • jj

      Sounds like your the racist.

  • lotta

    I smell trouble.

  • Al gore sr

    Must be Bush’s fault….how’s that voting Democrat 40 yrs done for black commutnties? Black families? Single moms? Women abuse? know we’ve only thrown 50 billion into civil rights… Go to the library and get some history books on civil rights and the democratic party… You may find out that 95% of your problems have come from this party… Rip Whitney

  • Rob T

    Floyd Bishop, and others who think like him, are idiots. He confuses the supposed right to participate in a private family funeral with the privilege of being invited. In other words, he feels he’s owed something for nothing. Hey Floyd, I bought an Elvis 45 when I was a kid. That doesn’t grant me a night at Graceland in the king’s bedroom. Grow up and take responsibility for your life rather than constantly having your hand out expecting people to give you what you don’t rightfully deserve.

  • ginny colwell

    Sorry why do they think they are entitled to be there? If the family wants it private, that is their wish. Everyone else needs to get over it.

  • Scott

    And people say racism like it’s a bad thing!! Act like a jackass, get treated like one. I’ve never known a part of the population feel so entitled and get so angry. 99% of Liberals give the rest a bad name.

    • nifongnation

      The Obama supporters are chimping out.

  • Prof gates

    Look up ..your flags are at half staff…what more you want?

  • Larry sinclair

    They always turn on each other…. It’s in their genes…..

  • jesse

    Rowdy behavior at a big gathering of blacks in Newark ? Really ?

  • Texas Freedom


  • Texas Freedom

    Losers, losers, losers . . . inside AND out. Grow up and stop worshipping people.

    • ginny colwell

      I agree

  • james

    who gives a fk about this CRACKHEAD

  • spayandneuterliberals



  • Kathy

    I can see riots tomorrow during the service.

  • deedee

    The FAN”S never got that close to her while she was living ? what makes them think they are owed anything? Surely they cant expect to have rights to see this woman lying in state in a church. This is for FAMILY.! So get over it , post your condolences online, and go on with your life. You have no rights to walk past her coffin ! Nobody made you purchase her recordings, and if you did, you have no rights to be included in her funeral.!

  • zerotolerance12

    These fans are ridiculously narcissistic. This isn’t about them. It’s about Whitney Houston, and her family/close friends. Just because you bought her music, it doesn’t mean you have ownership, or even an entitlement to be apart of this. Grow up and get over yourselves.

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