Whitney Houstonâ€™s godmother, Aretha Franklin, was forced to withdraw as a performer at the â€œhome goingâ€ service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday (February 18).
The 69 year-old Queen of Soul, who was expected to perform the classic â€œThe Greatest Love Of All,â€ will not even attend the ceremony due to illness, her rep confirmed..
“It wasn’t just the hits: Whitney knew how to be a star, and she was one of the brightest stars in the universe,” Aretha praised the late singer in concert earlier this week. “Let us all applaud and remember Whitney for the beautiful, giving and caring young lady and talented artist she was, the great music and performances,” she concluded. “Remember the hits. Forget the misses. A true superstar has gone on, flown away on the wings of love.”
Clive Davis, Kevin Costner, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Dionne Warwick are only some of the names expected to speak and pay the final respect to the singer, who tragically passed away on February 11, 2012 at the age of 48.