Why is Whitney Houston's funeral being televised?

Whitney Houston's funeral is being held in Newark, New Jersey today. As a matter of fact, it actually just started and Mariah Carey arrived around ten minutes after 12 noon and took her seat at the same time as Oprah and her bestie Gayle King. Wondering how I know all of this in such detail? Well, because the funeral is being televised and streamed online.

I thought it was weird when they televised Michael Jackson's funeral and I think it's just as weird that they are doing the same with Whitney's. Since when did grieving become a spectator sport? I understand that Whitney has a ton of fans who want to be able to say goodbye to her--I'm one of them--I just think it's so cynical that someone's funeral has become a ratings generator. I guess it's just our morbid fascination with every last detail of the lives of celebrities?

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There are so many other ways that fans can say goodbye, without having to watch everything play out in live time with advertisements and the whole nine. I would understand more if a head of state passed or a civil rights leader, but if see a slippery slope ahead of us if we begin to expect every celebrity funeral to be shown on live television.

The program for Whitney's funeral reads like a veritable who's who of music royalty. Stevie Wonder is performing "Ribbon in the Sky," and R. Kelly will croon the the hit song he wrote for her, "I Look to You." Alicia Keys will sing a medley of her hits, BeBe Winans will perform "Home," and Kim Burrell will sing "I Believe in You and Me." Aretha Franklin was supposed to sing "The Greatest Love of All," bu she fell ill and won't be performing for the services anymore. 

Expected to speak at the service are her cousin Dionne WarwickBodyguard co-star Kevin Costner, and Whitney's longtime mentor Clive Davis. 

Topics: celebrity  celebs  pop stars  actors  celebrity death