Pop icon Sir Paul McCartney joined a host of celebrities in laying flowers at a Whitney Houston memorial in Los Angeles last night.
The former Beatle and his wife Nancy Shevell arrived in a blue Corvette at the makeshift memorial outside the Beverley Hilton Hotel where the singer died on Saturday.
Carrying a bouquet of yellow flowers, he blew two kisses at the memorial and said a few words before leaving.
A hearse arrived at a funeral home in Newark last night carrying Whitney’s body.
She was taken to Whigham Funeral Home – which handled the 2003 funeral of her father – after being flown to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
The singer died on Saturday at the age of 48. Officials said she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub in her hotel room.
Whitney was born in Newark and was raised in nearby East Orange.
Dozens of fans went to the funeral home, where they played songs, lit candles and waited to see her casket.
Whitney’s family has raised the possibility of holding a wake on Thursday before the funeral the next day at Newark’s Prudential Center, which hosts sporting events and can seat 18,000 people.
But there is also the possibility of a smaller service at New Hope Baptist Church, where family members have sung in the past.
Whitney began singing as a child at the church where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music programme for many years.
Yesterday, mourners left flowers, balloons and candles for the star in front of the church fence.
An autopsy was carried out on Sunday, and authorities said there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma.
It will be weeks before toxicology tests are completed to establish her cause of death.
The singer had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pill addictions and her behaviour had become erratic.
She was found on Saturday at the hotel by a member of staff at around 3:30pm, hours before she was due to appear at a pre-Grammy Awards gala.
Los Angeles County coroner’s assistant Ed Winter said there were bottles of prescription medicine in the room, but would not give further details.
by John Jackson