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Aretha Franklin Will Perform at Whitney Houston’s Funeral

Aretha Franklin Whitney Houston
Bennett Raglin / Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Aretha Franklin will be performing at Whitney Houston‘s invite-only funeral service on Feb. 18, Entertainment Tonight is reporting. Record label executive Clive Davis, who helped guide the careers of both singers as the president of Arista Records for a quarter-century, personally requested to have Franklin perform, and the Queen of Soul found it impossible to turn down the invitation.

Franklin was Houston’s godmother and appeared briefly in her ‘How Will I Know’ video. Earlier this week, Franklin performed part of ‘I Will Always Love You’ on stage as a tribute to the woman she called “one of the greatest singers that has ever stood before a microphone.”

Franklin said after hearing the news of Houston’s death, “It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby.”

The funeral is set for noon on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Houston sang in the choir as a child. Despite a report that Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown was banned from the service, Brown has denied the rumors and will apparently attend as well.

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