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…


One Comment

  1. SCTanker says:


    Obama’s White House invite guest lists include the worst druggie, crooks, felons, low life no talent. Obama throws massive parties, and multi-million dollar vacations, all paid for by the grandchildren and their grandchildren of the working taxpayer.

    Yet CBS treats the Muslim in denial Obama like some kind of Pope.

  2. Reggie Love says:

    All her songs sounded the same, that’s why she sucked so bad.

    Anyone can scream into a mic, just ask Steven Tyler and Mic Jagger (two more non-talents that made millions off of screaming into a mic)

    1. Ganymede says:

      All of her songs do NOT sound the same. Apparently you need your ears and brain checked. Nice try.

  3. Pedro Gomez says:

    Another “DOPE HEAD” bites the dust! Big freaking deal! Dope head celebrities and Hollyweird people are not important to me.

  4. Obama 12 says:

    Whitney “Sing-in-only-one-key” and only can sing YELLING and belching with massive vibrato, so all her songs sounded the same, like some sharecropper hollering at the pigs. She couldn’t sing natural tones in normal volume.

    She was the definition of a one trick pony.

  5. Jeronimo Dan says:

    Wished I had a boxcar full of jumper cables!

  6. JohnF says:

    Jeez people … get a freakin’ life. You didn’t ‘know’ her, you never sat down and spent any time talking with her. You have no more right to her attend her viewing than any other anonymous stranger.

    Just because you choose to idolize a stranger doesn’t give you any rights or privileges. No one forced you to buy her albums, you choose to do it. No one forced you to go to her concerts, you choose to do it.

    Let her family and friends have the privacy they need to deal with her untimely and tragic death. It’s not your place to be there, and you have no right to demand it. Ask for it, yes. Demand it .. no.

  7. You Lazy Liberal Moocher says:


    Doping pedophile g@y Michael Jackson got a funeral fit for a King.

    Obama (Reggie Love’s main squeeze) got elected.

    I guess if you are black, the more messed up you are, the more the white people FEEL SORRY FOR YOU and your pathetic race.

  8. Josie says:

    What is it that these types of people act like apes in situations which require calm and civility? We lost our colored youth to un-mannerisms and rappism. They are not acting like humans but like animals.

  9. NathanNV says:

    I wish every one, and the press most of all,would just show some respect for the Family Members and allow Whitney a proper burial ,before we try to pin this poor Woman with every drug crime in America. Why do we care so much about how she died, and not about her amazing career and the joy she brought to our lives.

    Hennessy and a joint, I’m down, but keep that Zanex and other stuff away from me.

  10. George Broen says:

    Why do all these female celebrities, especially women, degrade themselves by becoming grotesquely fat? Aretha franklin’s “bingo wings” are repulsive as is the ongoing elephant ester Winfrey. Don’t they respect themselves enough to appear so absurd?

    1. Josie says:

      Right on point George and great post. It’s like they are all spend their little fortune on deep fried fat good sprinkled with crack. What is it about the colored celebrities and the crack pipe as well? What is it about them all being hooked on opiates and downs like Jackson and Houston? We lost this generation.

  11. Mr. Wee Wee says:

    Mr. Wee Wee sez “yOu gO girl” and STAND FIRM BEHIND Barack!

    1. Mr. Wee Wee says:

      Whitney Tribute tOnight at CLUB WEE WEE. yOu gO girl!!!!

  12. NYPD Sgt. says:

    Nobody could figure out that the Newark Police Dept. felt that they are stretched out thin enough without 100,000 trying to swarm one area at once to get a peak. It’s not too difficult to understand that… or I guess it is.. P.S. I’m African American so don’t through race at me.. It’s just common sense!!

  13. Sofia says:

    Understand, that safety was a big factor in keeping this funeral private. We should all be sympathetic to the family. This is really not easy for them. While Whitney has been such a large part of our lives, she is not our biological family, no matter how much we loved her. Honor Whitney by honoring her family’s wishes. God Bless.

  14. macksfield says:

    See this…
    “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.”
    This is the type of attitude which Obama and his administration breed. You can see this attitude throughout this thread. “They” owe me!

  15. shirley jones says:

    you no got no big money you no come to funeral and this thing about invitation funerals made me feel like i should have kept my money in my poclet and not buy her music

  16. Larry Fyne says:

    Typical low-life sense of entitlement. These blacks & inbreds will jump at the chance to riot & show their a*s over something. Why is anybody surprised?

  17. Jerry Allen says:

    48 is young to pass away BUT that is 336 yrs in “dog years”…as that is what she was ..a dog ho…National Anthem at a super bowl was her best but her life choices sucked…weep for the neighbor who raised good kids and worked every day

  18. Jerry Allen says:


  19. ezflyer13 says:

    She was great during her time and that was it. I do not see why there is so much attention being given to her in the way that it has been. Flags being flown half mast, police being used to contain the fans and as you can see, only the upper echelon are invited to be part of the final ending. In the end, she was a regular person who made her mark on the world, became a star and fell from grace. All of this fanfare is for nothing as with time, she will be forgotten. I will be glad when all of this is over, back to the normal way of life again.

  20. TAJ says:

    The real question is how many people will be shot and killed at the funeral.

  21. Bob says:

    Mindless “fans” glorifing the dead crackhead…yea…okay, sure…..

  22. josetoyou says:

    This is low-life nigg-r-ville in action…

  23. Amadeus says:

    The same bunch that knock each other over on Black Friday and kill for a pair of sneakers.

  24. Alphonse says:

    Typical black mentality….I deserve this and that because I am black! The lady made $100 million plus and she couldn’t handle it. She was weak! Did her family and frends know she was a junkie? Of course they did. But I betcha they were “hangers-on” living the life of luxury….while letting this woman waste her talent! I was once a fan…but this woman had no effect on my life….in a few days shell be forgotten, when’s the last time you heard anything on Michael Jackson, Amy winehouse, Cobain, Belushi, Heath Ledger, Ana Nicole Smith, Elvis, Chris Farley….etc. Now get over it and worry about what really makes a difference…family, jobs, education, an staying healthy!

  25. Jeff Sheaffer says:

    Being from Newark, NJ is NOT something to be proud of! This is another story of phoney friends and fans of a fallen celebrity. All these phoney people come out of the woodwork and make up sweet stories of special times they had with Whitney Houston but the truth is NONE of them spent time with her when she was cracked out on drugs. Nobody told her to stay away from woman beater Bobby Brown! Then to make it worse everybody blames the doctors and drug companies for her drug abuse. Nobody put a gun to her head to take drugs. The bottles have WARNING labels on them ! Nobody talks about all the $ that rock stars make and all the free time they have to stay out all night while normal people have to go to bed and wake up in the morning to go to a job. It is sad, I truly thought Whitney Houston was a pure little girl with a great voice but her family and herself let her life becoem destroyed.

  26. Bea says:

    If fans and the public need to mourn, they can do so in the privacy of their own homes, or organize their own fan type service. They have no right to intrude on a person’s family and funeral. Like someone said, Whitney’s family’s obligation ends where the fan buys the record or the concert ticket. That’s all any entertainer owes the public. Here’s a product, exchange it for cash. That’s it. Her life is her own. I agree this sense of entitlement, “I’m a taxpayer,” etc. is ridiculous. Whitney is not the government. What does being a taxpayer have to do with anything?

  27. Cab says:

    I thought it won’t be any news media camera or news people crew from ABC7 to air televise ONLY on on-line to allow on your internet from any news station Maybe that the Houston Family wants and their privacy. Sorry fans for not allow to be in the area it has been barricades by the Newark Police and the Mayor Corey Booker. I personally sorry for you lost Cissy Houston.

  28. Doug Glass says:

    Fans? You were a money stream and nothing more. Get over it.

  29. Randy says:

    Concerning some of the comments from her “fans”….
    I’d hate to have loved ones buried in that cemetery in Westfield. It’ll definitely be a zoo for some time. And I’d be very surprised if someone didn’t vandalize the grave — even possibly try to dig her up!

  30. Robert B. says:

    TNB…. Can’t even keep from chimping-out at a funeral, for God’s sake. When are we going to stop coddling these parasites?

  31. jim says:

    “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. Excuse me, Floyd, she’s dead.

    1. Bea says:

      Maybe Floyd is saying he killed her, since she is dead, as you say? Floyd made her what she is today, a corpse? Maybe he did, by being too much of an idolizing fan and not holding her to stricter standards of conduct and morality.

  32. JP says:

    What is wrong with people, go home and worry about your own lives and stop embarrassing yourselves.

  33. ACG says:

    I applaud the family for doing their best to conduct her funeral in dignified way and for not wanting it to be turned into a media circus.

  34. murphys mom says:

    May she rest in peace now. What kind of entitlement society have we become when strangers demand to be included in a family’s private funeral. I am sickened by this storly.

  35. P. says:

    We live in a very sick country in a very sick world when celebrity news takes such precedence over all the frightening things happening in the world.

  36. President Jefferson Davis says:

    Sounds like these colored slaves need their Negro asses horsewhipped.

  37. DukefromAustin says:

    She was born, she live hard, she died, like so many before her. She will
    be remebered. Now she belongs to the ages. RIP WHITNEY.

  38. JohnRalph says:

    Bobby’s asking that donations be deposited into his bank account. It will help pay for his therapy, crack, pills and his love of butt slamming of liberal white women. God bless him and please keep him in your prayers.

    They should drag Whitney’s dead rotting carcass on stage during the next Grammy Awards and have her lip-sync a song.

    Seriously though, most importantly she was a wonderful role model for her daughter…right?

  39. me says:

    Liberals like to blame oppression as the reason that some groups are poorer than others. Well, that’s politically correct (PC) baloney.

    Lack of self control and lack of intelligence are the biggest reasons for poverty. This story exemplifies that.

  40. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    Whitney you go Girl one week clean and sober.PS You’re daughter is a mess good jub

  41. Gaston says:

    Citizens of Newark, NJ acting unorderly! I can’t believe it!

  42. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:


  43. getreal says:

    all this media attention is sickening – this is what killed her, invading her soul and privacy

    clive davis makes me sick, with this, let the party go on

  44. Billy says:

    Thank God she wasn’t lying with Air Jordans on.

  45. BrickCityCares says:

    I can imagine the conversation 30 years ago between Whitney’s parents when Wilhemina and Clive Davis told them that Whitney had “it”, to give her to them and they would make her a “star”. I can hear Dionne, Dee Dee and Aretha warning of the hazards in the business. I can see Cissy praying for her daughter as she traversed the rocky road of her life. I can also feel Cissy’s pain as her daughter’s lifeless body is returned to her. RIP Whitney and may your family find comfort in knowing you are at rest in the presence of the Father.

  46. getreal says:

    loved whitney, but seriously – she could have done so much more for the world
    that’s what disgusts me, the waste of her life and money, which could have helped people

    say what you will about some people, they’re not on this route she was

    all i can say is ”hell to the no!”

  47. getreal says:

    it’s all obama’s fault
    and when do we get to see any of his sealed records?

  48. samuel says:

    Chris Christie SCREWED UP!!! http://youtu.be/C7zVrZ7WR9U

  49. Evelyn says:

    Thank You Lord for Loving Whitney!

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE