TMZ.com is reporting that Whitney Houston's family asked the city of New Jersey to cancel plans for a public memorial at a 18,000 seat arena. The family plans to hold a private viewing and invite-only funeral for family and friends on Saturday, Feb. 18, at New Hope Baptist Church.
A rep for the Mayor's office tells TMZ, "The Houston family has no plans to set up a public viewing at the Prudential Center this Friday" -- despite several reports claiming there was going to be a massive public ceremony ... in addition to previously-scheduled private funeral arrangements.
The rep claims the family specifically asked the city NOT to plan a memorial event -- adding, "In compliance with the family’s wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony."
Janet Jackson was Anderson Cooper's special guest this week on his daytime talk show, Anderson. The superstar discussed her feelings about the sudden death of Whitney Houston, and offered advice to Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Anderson: What advice do you have for her family for her kid. For her child? Janet: It's a very very tough time. Even though it’s still a loss. I lost my brother, she lost her mother. There's still a difference, even though there's a still a loss to a family, I don't know what that's like being so young. It was hard for me. It was very very difficult for me. I didn't want to accept it, it's very difficult. You have to come to terms at some point, you have to actually give it up to God and it sounds so mean but you have to move on you can't hold onto that because it can be very devastating. Sometimes therapy is the best thing.
Anderson: TV People always use that word closure when they are talking about loss, as someone who has lost family members as well, I don't think there is such a thing as closure. I think that's a made up TV word.
Janet: No, I don't think there is either, but you have to go on with life. You figure out a way to move on. It's always right here. There's never a day, not one day has gone by where I don't think about my brother and my other brothers and sisters say the same thing.
Watch video clips of the interview after the break. Tune in to Anderson on Monday, Feb 20, for the full interview.
Someone had to be the voice of reason in a town where "no" is a foreign language. That voice of reason was R&B legend Chaka Khan, who slammed Clive Davis for not canceling his annual pre-Grammy party, which was held in the same hotel where Whitney Houston's body lay in rigor mortis on the 4th floor.
Chaka made her statements on Piers Morgan's show on CNN last night. She said: "Knowing Whitney, I don't believe that she would have said 'the show must go on.'" Chaka added: "She's the kind of woman that would have said, 'uh huh! Stop everything! I'm not gonna be there."
Chaka told Piers,
"I thought that was complete insanity. I don't know what could motivate a person, to have a party, in a building, where the person, whose life he had influenced so enormously, and whose life had been affected by her...I don't understand how that party went on." Source
In the 2nd video, after the break, Chaka alluded to the "riff raff" and "dangerous people" (Ray J) who dragged Whitney to parties in the week before the party. "I wouldn't have done that," said Chaka.
Preliminary blood test results revealed the presence of benzodiazepines in singer Whitney Houston's system after she died, according to Radar Online. The benzodiazepines found in Whitney's system -- Xanax, Ativan, and Valium -- are sedatives prescribed for high anxiety and stress disorders associated with depression. Some benzodiazepines are highly addictive.
Houston, 48, was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her luxury suite at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday. She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 6:55 p.m. EST.
A law enforcement insider told RadarOnline.com: "The final toxicology results will reveal the specific sedative(s) that she ingested, and the level. Those final toxicology results should be in later this week."
The law enforcement source also corrected a fallacy that is commonly quoted to the media by coroners -- that toxicology test results take 4-6 weeks to come back.
"Toxicology testing and results don't take 4-6 weeks to come back. Look at how quickly toxicology screening tests are done in hospital emergency rooms when someone comes in with an overdose. The Coroner and the Beverly Hills Police Department have placed a security hold on the case, so it will be a few weeks before the results are revealed publicly."
Actress Gabrielle Union attended the PUMA Motorsport event at the Performance Motorsports Garage in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday. Sources say Gabrielle "deeply regrets" walking the red carpet before Clive Davis' dinner at the Beverly Hilton where Whitney Houston's body lay in rigor mortis on the fourth floor. She's telling friends that if she had to do it over again, she would have bypassed the red carpet because the fallout from her lack of good judgment wasn't worth it.
Insiders whisper that party organizers had to beg celebs to pose on the red carpet in front of the "walk-and-repeat" backdrop so the big money sponsors wouldn't get upset. Some celebs were reluctant to pose, while others flatly refused to walk the red carpet.
Radar Online reports that police and the coroner's office were instructed NOT to remove Houston's body from her hotel room while Davis' party was ongoing.
The reason given was that Davis and other party organizers didn't want a coroner's van mingling with the arriving limos and luxury vehicles.
Most narcissistic celebs wait all year to be seen at Davis' grandiose annual pre-Grammy party. They say Davis' party is the hottest ticket in town -- where you can find the biggest gathering of self-centered snobs in one room. Photo: STARPICZ / Splash News
British superstar Adele, who picked up 6 Grammies last night, covers the March 2-12 issue of US Vogue magazine. The 23-year-old chantuese, who was born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, talks about how her life has changed since her multi-platinum 21 was released, and how she has had to adjust since throat surgery threatened to end her career.
A Pittsburgh man is behind bars for savagely beating his girlfriend's 11-year-old son to death for nine hours. According to the Daily Mail, Cynthia McKee returned home from work Saturday to find her son Donovan bloodied and barely breathing on the floor.
Another two hours went by before McKee called police to her apartment at Rochelle Towers on Knox Avenue at 11:45 p.m.
Donovan was taken to Mercy hospital in uptown Pittsburgh, and later to Children's hospital in Lawrenceville, where he was pronounced dead. The coroner concluded he died of multiple injuries to his head and body.
McKee told police that her boyfriend, Anthony Bush, 29, told her to say Donovan fell from an open window.
Bush was arrested and charged with homicide and child endangerment. Bush - who is six feet five inches - told police he beat Donovan for nine hours with a belt and three sticks as punishment because the boy refused to vacuum the apartment.
Bush told police, "I did it. I did it. It's my fault."
Rihanna was a big hit on the otherwise boring 54th Annual Grammy Awards last night. After performing at a paid gig at The House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip, Rihanna partied at Greystone Manor nightclub in West Hollywood wearing a houndstooth dress and black hooker boots. Photo by: SPW / Splash News
The spray on hair fad has been made more popular by celebrities such as rapper Flo Rida and Chicago Bulls star Carlos Boozer. Boozer rocked his spray on hair during a recent televised basketball game.
There is an entire line of spray on hair that is dedicated to bald men or men with receding hairlines who want to look young again.
Barbers have used spray on hair dye to spruce up their clients' heads for years. Spray on hair is big business on Amazon.com where a bottle of Hair Color Thickener sells for just $7.37. That's cheaper than hair plugs or hair pieces.
The spray on hair craze is fueled by vanity, or the growing obsession with our own self-image. So if women can wear weave to bolster their self-image, why can't men wear spray on hair to improve theirs?
One of music's most respected living legends has weighed in on the sudden death of pop icon Whitney Houston at age 48.
TMZ reports that Celine Dion isn't waiting for a coroner's report to confirm the obvious. Dion called into Good Morning America this morning and told Robin Roberts, "Whitney has been an amazing inspiration for me ... It's just really unfortunate that drugs, bad people or bad influence took over. It took over her dreams. It took over her love and motherhood."
She went on to say, "When you think about Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, to get into drugs like that, for whatever reason. Is it because of the stress and bad influence? What happens when you have everything?"
It's interesting that she should ask "What happens when you have everything?" I tell people all the time that you get what you ask for but you may not be ready for it.
Everyone wants to be rich (and some want to be famous) but they never think about the heavy burden that comes with the riches and the fame.
Life is about the struggle. As infants being born, we struggle to get here, and life continues to be a struggle. The struggle doesn't get any easier with money. It's a sobering reality when you achieve your dreams and there is nothing left to achieve. You have every materialistic thing you could ever want, but you have nothing else to look forward to.
There's a line in one of my favorite movies that goes, "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."
The true meaning of life is in the struggle. The happiest people I know live from paycheck to paycheck. Once you reach the top, there is nowhere left to go but down. Be careful what you ask for, kids.
Outraged Catholics are calling for a boycott of CBS network following rapper Nicki Minaj's bizarre Grammy Awards performance last night.
The talentless Minaj, 29, arrived at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards dressed in a red satin Versace cape with a Caucasian man dressed as the Pope on her arm. Later in the telecast, Minaj acted like a woman possessed -- performing her single "Roman's Holiday" with bizarre satanic rituals which included levitation and an exorcism onstage before a shocked Grammy audience.
"Nicki’s disturbing performance at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards was a blatant attack on the Catholic church," wrote one outraged blogger.
If the stage was set as a Jewish Holocaust, or a black slavery set or some kind of mockery of Muhammad and Islam glorifying slave owners, there would be outrage. But because its the Catholic church that Minaj is mocking, somehow it’s allowed.
Other blogs are calling for the boycott of CBS and its sponsors, saying the Grammy's are increasingly relying on shock and vulgarity to attract more viewers to the show.
The Catholic League was also not amused by Minaj's performance.
“Perhaps the most vulgar was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League told CBS New York.
“None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved [by] The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. [Whether] Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam,” Donohue said.