Watch as the World Says Goodbye to Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston's funeral is today, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. 1,500 guests are expected to attend and a number of celebrities close to the singer will speak or perform, including Clive Davis, Kevin Costner, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and — oddly — R. Kelly. Aretha Franklin was supposed to sing as well, but it looks like she's too ill to attend. The Houston family decided against a public memorial because they "wanted to do this with dignity," according to New Hope's Pastor Marvin Winans, but the service will stream live online staring at noon EST. Some outlets are already live in front of the Church, where officers recently escorted Houston's silver casket, topped with roses and lilies. Choir members set the tone for the service by whispering, "Whitney, Whitney, Whitney," as they prepared for the service. [AP] [CNN]


  • There's really no excuse for the gigantic gaffe ESPN committed early this morning, when an editor for their mobile site decided "Chink in the Armor" was a suitable headline to describe superstar New York Knicks' player Jeremy Lin's first loss this season. The cringeworthy banner went up at 2:30 am and stayed there for nearly an hour, which means dozens of sports bloggers captured images of the racial epithet. ESPN apologized in an online statement and said they were "determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again." There's one simple way they could do that: fire any employees who think racial slurs are funny. [The Hollywood Gossip]
  • Do you think Lindsay Lohan deserves a new E! True Hollywood Story? Producers apparently do, so tune in next Monday if you want to learn more about Lindsay's endless family drama and financial woes. The show is likely to be depressing at "best" and boring at worst; how many more paparazzi photos of the starlet shopping and failing to show up to court can we take at this point? [Just Jared]
  • In unfair news, Paris Hilton won $30,000 playing blackjack last night while partying in Vegas for her birthday. In a series of Tweets, she not-so-humbly bragged: "Just won 30k playing blackjack at Wynn Las Vegas! Yes! Birthday girl's luck! I love gambling!" [Contact Music]
  • "Russell Brand's new girl pal is a gorgeous Mexican painter whose work explores sensuality and SEX," The UK Sun reports breathlessly. The newly-single Brand met 25-year-old artist Oriela Medellin Amieiro at yoga, and was spotted sleeping at her apartment last week, but Oriela won't confirm anything: "I am not comfortable talking about this," is all she would say. Oriela's work "explores feelings of guilt, sensuality, sexuality and repression from a woman's perspective," according to her website, which features a lot of naked ladies. [UK Sun]
  • Oriela's not the only new celeb artist: Beyonce is one now, too, thanks to sister Solange, who took up painting while living in Paris (of course she did) and inspired the new mother to start expressing herself via the canvas in order to "unwind" while her baby is sleeping. Apparently Beyonce has already completed four paintings, including one of Jay-Z holding Blue Ivy. Maybe the others are portraits of all the staffers she employs so that she's relaxed enough to paint only a few weeks after giving birth? [UK Sun]
  • In extraordinarily delightful news, someone gave Meryl Streep her own personalized set of nesting dolls: the largest looks just like Meryl, and inside is the actress as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." I hope someone starts selling copies on Etsy, because I would totally buy one. [The Frisky]
  • You're familiar with feminist Ryan Gosling. But have you met Marxist Chris Evans? Capital is dead labour, bro. [Buzzfeed]



ESPN: You suck. Loudly and clearly.