With Whitney Houston’s body back in her home state of New Jersey, her funeral is likely days away. Like her career, it could be a sensation.
A source in the family confirmed to ABCNews.com late Monday that plans are in place for a family service on Thursday and a public memorial at the Prudential Center — an indoor arena in Newark that can accommodate nearly 20,000 people — on Friday. Asked if the memorial would be on the scale of Michael Jackson’s 2009 memorial at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the source said, “It’s going to be big.”
Much of the Houston family has left L.A. for New Jersey. Bobbi Kristina, Ray Watson — Houston’s brother-in-law and bodyguard — and more family members are now back in the Garden State. So is Houston’s body, which was transported across the country in a private jet Monday night after being released by the Los Angeles coroner.
According to ABC News’ New York affiliate WABC, the Houston’s funeral arrangements are expected to be handled by the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., the same place that handled arrangements for her father in 2003. The home isn’t far from the New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston began her lifetime of singing in the church’s choir.
Houston’s father, John Houston, was laid to rest in a cemetery in Westfield, N.J. Some have speculated that she will be buried alongside him.
Houston’s reps did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com’s requests for comment.
ABC News’ Eileen Murphy contributed to this report.