Whitney Houston's Funeral Begins In New Jersey

18 February 2012, 17:49 | Updated: 18 February 2012, 17:59

The 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' singer's memorial service has started in New Jersey today.

Whitney Houston's funeral has started in at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.

The 'When You Believe' singer passed away at the age of 48 last weekend (11th February) and is being laid to rest in a private ceremony today (18th February) at the church she sang in as a child.

Whitney's body was carried into the church in a gold-handled, platinum coffin and adorned with white flowers while mourners entered the building ready for today's memorial service alongside a performing gospel choir.

"We are here to mourn our loss but to celebrate her life," New Jersey Mayor Cory Booke said to open the funeral service. "God is in heaven and with him is one of our angels, Whitney Houston.

He added: "We love you Whitney Houston'.

Reverend Joe carter than continued the service with a speech before director and comedian Tyler Perry was introduced on stage to give a dedication to Whitey's life.

"There are two constants that I know about Whitney Houston and one is that there was a grace that bought her down from heaven," Tyler told the gathered mourners. "The other think I know for sure, and this is more important than anything she has ever done in her life. Whitney Houston loved the lord." 

The likes of Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and R Kelly are all expected to perform in tribute to the late Whitney Houston, who is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina, mother Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick.

Keep it Capital for all the latest on Whitney Houston's funeral.