Kevin Costner to lead tributes at Whitney's funeral

By Hindustan Times

Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner will address mourners at her funeral in New Jersey on Saturday. The ceremony, at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, will be televised and shown live on the Internet, after her family decided against a large public
memorial.

In the 1996 romantic drama The Bodyguard, Costner played an ex-secret service agent, hired to protect a superstar from a stalker and who fell in love with her.

The film, which was Houston’s screen debut, made more than 300 million pounds at the box office while the movie’s song, I Will Always Love You, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Costner’s words will be followed by musical performances from two soul legends - Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder.

Her long-standing mentor and record executive Clive Davis, 79, will also deliver a speech.

It emerged that Davis had been paying the star’s bills in the period before her tragic death, aged 48, in a Los Angeles hotel room on Saturday. But he is not planning to finance the funeral.

“Clive has been a complete rock for her family this entire time… He’s been with her since the beginning and they’re leaning on him for emotional support,” the Mirror quoted a source as saying.

“He talks to them hourly, and has played a big part in planning her funeral.

“Clive has been a constant presence for them,” the source added.

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