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…

  • Reality Check
  • RaulJones

    Fans: a funeral is *not* a public event. So, stfu and let the family put the crackhead YOU created into the cold, cold ground.

    • Allen Miller

      I agree and also, let the family pay for it . why should the taxpayer have to pay for her funereal. this is unbelievable that we are paying to honor a drug abuser. What does that say to our children? I am baffeled at the direction this country is going.

      • Danny

        I don’t recall the people of Memphis complaining about the Municipal taxes involved in the orchestration of Elvis’s funeral. I smell a touch of cryptic racism.

  • RaulJones

    Fans: a funeral is *not* a public event. So, stfu and let the family pot the crackhead YOU created into the cold, cold ground.

  • Truth Monger

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

    Got news for you bru……………you ARE from the street………….

  • Steve Johnson

    Who cares? She’s dead. Let her be. Do all the fans of our soldiers overseas bang on the doors to view the fallen warriors and cry foul when the grieving families crave a little privacy? The woman died, END OF STORY. Move on and let the family mourn her in peace. This whole affair has been revolting, the wall to wall coverage is stomach turning and it’s just one more very good reason the resat of the world hates us so much. Personally, I hate the ghouls who salivate over this tragedy, from the selfish fans to the exploitative media. You all should take a long look in the mirror and decide if you like what you see.

  • BobHaze

    Notice that there are ALWAYS problems, even at the funerals, of some entertainers.

    • Floyd DaBarber

      You mean “at the funerals of some entertainers who appeal to a certain demographic”. Gorillas in the Mist.

  • dan

    It s Bush’s fault

  • dan

    Gas is heading to 4 bucks a gallon and Obama is breaking the bank.
    Priorities folks! WAKE UP!

  • casey mcconnaughy

    You people are pathetic. Crying like babies over someone you don’t even know. We got a god damn communist in the white house, and all you care about is some dead singer.

  • JenC

    • Reality Check

      JenC revealed…

      • JenC

        WOW… Realty Check…This much hate can only be born from total inadequacy and deep seeded self loathing. To spend that much time on spamming this story with your video clips to maligned a dead person, and personal attacks especially against a person you probably never meet. When’s the last time you raped a girl or boy? Psychopath! I can only hope you are doing all this from the safely of a mental institution.

        • Reality Check

          When’s the last time I raped….Um……How about never because that would be wrong. You accuse me of personal attacks and in the same post, personally attack me. WOW is right. Perhaps we should see if there’s an available room at the institution for you too. I simply see this whole non stop media blitz abut Whitney Houston, a at one time great singer but who tragically fell to self indulgent drug abuse, a total farce. Where were all these loving people during her lifetime? Where were you? Did you reach out to her fan club and beg her to get help? Did you write letters to her family supporting them and giving them hope and advice on how to help their drug addict? No, but now that she’s dead, here you all are, expressing your love and saying what a tragedy and having your 15 minutes of spotlight for all the world to see. That’s pathetic, it’s a travesty, and it doesn’t deserve any respect. Watching her funeral is like watching the worst aspects of our society exposed for all to see. For those people, her death was the best thing that happened. You mark my words, there will be albums, farewell tributes, exploitation like we always see when a train wreck celebrity bites it. And you, Jen, will eat it up like a pig.

          • Josef

            I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head RC. Why her funeral is televised in the first place and being covered by all major news media outlets today is the question? This is exploitation in it’s purest form. Way to go people, we’ve lowered the bar again.

    • Reality Check

    • JenC


      • Reality Check

      • Reality Check

      • Reality Check

      • Reality Check

    • Reality Check

      Well she wasn’t always flawless, watch and learn.

      • Earl K.

        I cannot believe that she was even allowed on stage at that point. Simply unreal.

  • rod


    • Earl K.

      When somebody passes, we as human beings tend to emphasize the positive aspects of their lives which is, in my opinion, the correct thing to do

  • Earl K.

    Violence outside the funeral? Those damn Amish again!!


    “We bought her music. We helped succeed in what she had done over the years,” added Charlene Williams.”


  • A friend

    “To whom much is given…much is expected”
    Ms.Houston had talent aplenty and used some small amount of it to win over fans around the world. Her failings were as large as her successes but unfortunately more widely known over the last decade or so.
    Her “loving family” was not able or willing to throw out the trash in her life and to insist upon a sober life for good.

    I realize a drug dependent person is without all the mechanisms to stay away from their addictions by themselves…this is where she and her family failed her.

    Let her rest…pray for her family and Ms. Houston herself. While a poor role model in life her music will live on and serve us well into the future.

    • Reality Check

      You see, she knew that phrase, but she read it when she was high. She thought it was “To whom much is given….much is expectorated”

      Simply mistake when you’re high.

  • Jobu

    Tempers flare at a black event…can this be true?

    • Jason

      Not possible????

    • freecheese

      “Gangs Declare Truce For A Day.” How patriotic. New Jersy proud !

  • JenC

    Unbelievable. There are so many hateful, racist, ignorant, uninformed COMMENTS on this story. I shutter to think I could be living next to someone who has so little respect for the dead and zero grace.

    • rod


    • Reality Check

      lighten up, it’s all good fun….

      • Reality Check

        Sure this will bring back memories

        • Reality Check

          Oh and since it’s blacks making fun of Whitney I guess it isn’t rascist. So this is really OK and all in good fun. Yay.

          • Reality Check

            Woot they keep on coming….

    • spayandneuterliberals

      I think you mean “shudder”, not “shutter”, genius.

      People like you have rendered the word “racist” utterly meaningless. This once powerful word has been completely trivialized by you and your ilk.

      Keep talking!!

      • Reality Check

        oh, snap…..gurl you been served……lol

        • Reality Check

          Hold up….

  • spayandneuterliberals

    Just another dead doper,,,who cares…….

  • Reality Check

    She was talented….

    • JenC

      Great Video!

  • H2K

    How many of those taxpayers that are “complaining” about not being part of the funeral have actually paid taxes?

  • Whitney died as she lived - an ADDICT

    She lost all her money to years and years of drug use. She HAD TO GO ON THE ROAD AGAIN to make money. She was living on loans from her manager.

    Problem was, Whitney Houston smoked like a fiend for years and cigarettes RUINED HER VOICE. She lost the ability to hit high tones and was left with a permanent tenor. Crack didn’t wreck her voice – just her body and mind. .

  • Reality Check

    The real tragedy is the fact that those that supplied her with drugs will lose their livelihood. They can’t collect unemployment benefits since what they did is illegal. Who will feed their family now that Whitney’s stream of income is no more? What about the pusher’s families? Is there no justice? I can at least understand why the gang bosses are calling a day of truce, they got to go out and find new sources of income.

  • Robert

    “…Houston dressed in all white, her slender body not in a coffin, but fully displayed for family and friends who were sworn to secrecy.”

    Not in a coffin? So where is she? Did they pose her sitting up in a chair? Standing at a microphone? Lying in a tub or doing handstands?

  • curious

    Does anyone know what is meant by the comment in the story that she was not in a coffin, but fully displayed? Honestly curious, not trying to stir negativity in any way. Agree that the flag shouldn’t be half-mast but also agree that this is a tragedy for her friends, family and fans. And it sounds like she had caretakers, but an adult woman cannot be watched 24/7. She died in the privacy of a bathroom.
    Hope for a better outcome for Bobbi Kristina.

  • snap


  • Reality Check

    I dare someone to show up there with a truck load of browns chicken for all the fans who can’t get in. They must be hungry.

  • Anna

    To all who are upset about being left out. Stop being so selfish, this is not about you. Whitney Houston has a daughter who at the age of 18 has just lost her mother. She will not have her mother there when she gets married, when she has her child. And as Happy as those events make her. It will still be a little bit bittersweet because her mother will not be there. She has lost a lot This is something to be mad & upset about. I know I’ve been in her shoes. So people if you have a Mother go give her a hug and do something special for her in honor of Whitney Houston.

  • Reality Check

    Hey folks, February is a black is history month

  • Reality Check

    I find it ironic that during black history month, a black is history.

  • andy


    They were very upset at the fact this was a funeral they were under the impression those colored shoes they will kill for were to be offered for sale.
    Many were heard to say ” Eye blaims da white devils foe dis”

  • Whitney died as she lived - an ADDICT


    The family WANTS TO SELL THE FUNERAL PHOTOS to rag mags and also charged admission to other mags/news outfits to get inside.

    They can’t let fans inside to take their free cell phone snaps. THAT would diminish the family photo sales to magazines, news outfits. .

    Too bad Whitney’s family doesn’t own a huge plot of land so they can bury Whitney on it and CHARGE FANS FOREVER to visit her grave like Elvis(open every day to fans charged admission) and Lady Di’s (open once a year to public charged admission) family did. Even Michael Jackson’s family tried to cash in on that lucrative death fan market but the city refused to give them permission to bury Michael on Never Land.

    Not to worry though. If Houston is as broke as everyone says, that means her ugly untalented addict daughter is broke now also and with her mother’s musical royalties at least temporarily if not permanently going to pay off her mothers debts, her daughter will find some way of exploiting her mother’s death (besides selling funeral photos) just like all the rest of the relatives of famous families do.

    • Reality Check

      Horrible to say, but sadly probably not too far from reality

  • BlownfuelCoupe

    Alcoholic Pill-Popper takes her own life, now you Brain Dead,… go find one.

  • Cleared Clarence

    Her fans certainly feel “ENTITLED” to be entertained by the Funeral..
    Seems like if they LOVED her in Life, they could respect her in death and give the family an opportunity to Honor her memory, and grieve.


  • David

    “…We made this lady who she is today,” resident Floyd Bishop said.
    a little irony?
    She started downhill in 1998 when she was criticized for singing ‘too white” Then came Bobby Brown and drugs, that helped a lot

  • Traveler

    where can i get some good ribs in newark?

    in town for funeral.

    • Buckwheat Jones

      Try the Rib & Chicken Shack down on ML King Ave.
      They say they are out of this world there?

  • TarGet

    I just want to say… I just want to reach out to all my brothers and sisters out there and say….. stay with me peoples……….. hold each other……… get down with my girfren…. and that aint right…… hollar en cus…. say ya wanna fight…….

    And Eye….. will All Ways Luv Yoooooooo Woooooo Hooooooo Will All Ways Luv Yoooooooo Hooooo Ooooooh Oooooooh Oooooooooh Willl Always… Love…….


  • Rev. White

    typical, niggardly behavior

  • gelalema

    I would be grateful if we can remember–all-of us–that an 18 year old girl has lost her Mother. This is the tragedy of her young life and today will be one of the worst time for her and for WHitney’s Mother.. Please, everyone, be respectful and keep the family’s grief and loss foremost in your thoughts, prayers and actions. Let there be no protests, no unseemly behavior. Whitney’s family is too devastated to have to deal with anything more.

    • Whitney died as she lived - an ADDICT

      Correction. An an 18 year old daughter WHO IS AN ADDICT.

      Both her parents exposed her to drugs from birth to age 18. They were horrible parents. I wonder what Houston is saying to God right now ABOUT THAT!!

      Plus Whitney knowingly married the ugliest man on earth and saddled her daughter with a face worse than Rumor Willis’. Poor Bobby Christina even has a an ugly squatty body. At least Rumor Willis has a beautiful body even her face is homely.

  • steve sharkman

    i hope she wore short pants, because it’s gonna be hot where she’s going.
    now if we could only get lindsey and brittany to follow, the world would be a better place.

  • Bwahahaha

    Pass out knives and guns for the fans at the viewing of the crack ho and let the fun begin!!!

  • Natasha

    I just wish some of you people, even the judgmental white folks because you guys are the biggest critics of this poor woman, would just STFU!!! I’ve been a fan of hers since she came out in 1985 when I was 3 and yes she had her demons, but I still respected her as a singer! You dummies are stupid enough to judge her based on what the media tells you. She was a human being with talent and flaws and she wasn’t the first talented singer who did drugs and she won’t be the last. Stop with the “crack h*” comments and just remember the good about her. Grow the heck up people!!!

    • steve sharkman

      in my life experiences, i’ve found the most judgmental people are the ones who don’t like others to judge.
      you are just as judgmental. she was an admitted crack ho.
      period. she was a loser.
      who care’s how well she could sing.
      she was weak.

    • Reality Check

      you need better role models

  • Sleeza

    Three Letters: T N B

  • Kathleen Tandy

    All the people standing outside that church are nothing but hood trash.

    Only HOOD TRASH has free time on a Saturday morning to go and stand outside of a church when they could just as easily watch a live stream of the entire funeral online. This is a foreign concept to common HOOD TRASH.

    Only HOOD TRASH would have the AUDACITY to say that Cissy Houston or anyone in her family “OWES” them anything! She’s lost a daughter you jackass!

    If you can go and bring her daughter back THEN she might owe you something!

    It is exactly this reason that Mrs. Houston DID NOT want to have the funeral in heathen town Newark. Too many people out there who think that they are OWED something.

    Go home and get a life!

    • Natasha

      Why they have to be hood trash you racist POS! People who are there came as far from the Virgin Islands and there are other races out there too, so shut up with the hood trash comment as if you’re any better than them!

      • Reality Check

        People were dumb enough to spend money to travel from far away to stand outside the funeral of a dead former pop star who ruined her opportunities with self indulgent drug abuse? How desperate are these fools?

      • TarGet

        Natasha baby… you nothing but Hood Trash too.. aND YOU kNOWS IT.

  • Calypso

    Taxpayers have rights in Obama’s America? Not a chance.

    How stupid are these people?!?!

  • John Crane

    It’s very sad, but she was 48, not 28, and should have known better. Bad lifesyle choices when she apparently had everything…money, fame, connections, will doom anyone. Just the fact that she was broke and living off record company advances, yet she was staying at the Beverly Hills Hilton, while drinking in the morning, shows those bad choices were evident right up to the end. Will others look at her story and learn from it? Probably not.

  • M.A.D


    • Whitney died as she lived - an ADDICT

      Not likely. She is burning in hell for exposing her daughter from birth to age 18 to drugs so that her daughter became a drug addict also. Houston KNEW what she was doing when she did that and she did it anyway.

      Hopefully, Bobby Christina doesn’t expose her children, if any man would touch her ugly face/body, to her drug addiction abuse (prescription or other drugs doesn’t matter) . .

      • pjean

        Said a prayer for you.

  • jha

    The Sense of Entitlement reaches a horrible new level.Now they think they are ENTITLED to participate in the most private of family affairs??? Wow. Hold on America! It’s only going to get worse!

  • Rob

    So long America. Like this is news.

  • lwayne

    These fans do not realize that they are only a $ sign to the entertainer and a bother to the rest of the surviving family. Enjoy the entertainment and when the show is over leave.

  • Ganymede

    Way too many classless morons on here trying to be funny. You call yourselves adults, but act like wild children who lack the sense your mothers gave you. I’m sure they’d be proud you’re calling people rude names and acting like you’ve been drilled in the head with a cheap-o power tool. It’s fine if you don’t like Whitney, but saying uncouth things about her and her fans….wow. Grow up. Go do something productive.

  • The Voice of Reason

    Who do these people think they are? They have no right to view this funeral or any other celebrity’s funeral. They have private lives just like anyone else. The celebrity worship in this country is WAY out of hand. People need to get a life. I will never understand how people can get so wrapped up in a famous person….like the idiot woman who had the cast of “Twilight” tattooed on her back, or some guy who’s entire house is a shrine to Dale Earnhardt. Leave Whitney’s family alone and let them grieve in peace. The last thing they need is a pack of rabid fans who really need to get a life of their own.

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