“Obviously, Whitney Houston was an important part of the fabric — the cultural fabric of this state,” Christie said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that Houston, a Newark native, is in the “pantheon of great New Jersey musical talents” like Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.
He says her accomplishments were “a great source of pride for the people of the state.”
“Her terribly premature death is an awful loss for her family and the incredible New Jersey musical family,” he said. “Our prayers are with her family.”
The invitation-only funeral will take place Saturday at noon at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. The body of Houston, who was found dead Saturday at 48, was flown back to Newark late Monday night.