As preparations continue for what's expected to be a star-studded funeral for Whitney Houston, New Jersey police have urged fans to stay away from the private service.
On Thursday, Newark police said that six square blocks around the New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston began singing as a child, would be cordoned off on Saturday and that fans would not be allowed in.
Newark police director Samuel DeMaio advised fans to stay home to watch the funeral, which will be broadcast on TV and streamed online. He also said there would be no procession from Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, where Houston's body is resting, to the church.
However, as of Friday morning, fans and media had already gathered outside the church.
In New Jersey, devotees have left flowers, photos, messages and other tribute items to the singer at the church, the funeral home and the school renamed for Houston. Fans have appealed for a public memorial where they can also unite to grieve the singer.
The singer's final resting place will be next to her father, John Russell Houston Jr., at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. following Saturday's funeral, a source close to the family told The Associated Press.
Stars to mourn Houston
The funeral is expected to draw 1,500 guests and a host of famous faces, especially from the music world. Houston, the daughter of singer Cissy Houston and cousin of singer Dionne Warwick, was a prominent figure in the gospel and soul music community.
Musical greats to sing at the funeral include Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul, who was a friend and mentor to the late singer, said in an interview Friday that fans should remember Houston for her artistry rather than her struggles with substance abuse.
Houston's longtime music producer Clive Davis and actor Kevin Costner, her co-star in the film The Bodyguard, are expected to speak during the service. Her ex-husband Bobby Brown is also expected to be in attendance.
Gospel singer and Pastor Marvin Winans — of the prominent, Grammy-winning family of gospel singers — will deliver the eulogy. He presided over Houston's wedding to fellow singer Brown in 1992. The Winans family has long been friends with the Houston clan.
Died on eve of Grammy Awards
Houston, 48, died last Saturday on the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, after she was discovered unconscious in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. Her death came just hours before she was slated to perform at a pre-Grammy Awards party.
Authorities said an autopsy found no indications of foul play or signs of trauma, but that it could take weeks before the coroner's office completes toxicology tests and determines the cause of death.
However, there has also been some backlash.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized for ordering flags flown at half-mast during Houston's funeral, but defended his decision.
In Los Angeles, KFI AM 640 suspended John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the controversial hosts of its talk radio program The John and Ken Show, after they called Houston a derogatory term and said on air the singer was "cracked out for 20 years." The pair subsequently issued an apology to Houston's family and their listeners in a statement.
"We made a mistake, and we accept the station's decision," said Kobylt.