Whitney Houston’s Family Said Offered Use of Prudential Center for Funeral

Whitney Houston’s family has been offered the Prudential Center in Newark for a funeral this week, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

The 18,500-seat New Jersey arena is available Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, said the person, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t public.

A wake could be held Feb. 16, with a funeral the following day, the person said. Houston’s family is flying with the singer’s body to New Jersey from Los Angeles, the person said. Whigham Funeral Home in Newark is handling the arrangements, NBC New York reported today.

Jill Fritzo, a spokeswoman for Houston’s family, said specific plans weren’t available, as did a woman answering phones at Whigham. The National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils are scheduled to play the Anaheim Ducks at 7 p.m. New York time on Feb. 17, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

The pop singer, 48, was found in a bath tub “underwater and apparently unconscious” at about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 by a member of her staff, Lieutenant Mark Rosen, a spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department, said today at a press conference. She was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., after unsuccessful resuscitation efforts, he said.

Police are investigating the circumstances of Houston’s death, Rosen said. Foul play isn’t suspected. A cause of death won’t be known until the results of toxicology tests are available in two or three weeks, he said.

“There is an active investigation, a death investigation,” Rosen said. “This was not prompted by Ms. Houston’s celebrity or notoriety. This is routine.”

Houston’s body is being flown to New Jersey courtesy of filmmaker Tyler Perry, the Star-Ledger reported. The newspaper reported funeral plans for Houston earlier today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net; Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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