The New York Post says that Whitney’s godmother Aretha Franklin is slated to perform at Whitney’s funeral in Newark tomorrow, along with crooner Stevie Wonder and gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans.
“I know Whitney would have wanted me to do the show,” said Aretha. “Some people might want to close off the world at a time like this. I want to be with other people. That’s what helps me.”
The soul queen will make “I Will Always Love You” the centerpiece of her tribute, and is even adding the song to her regular program for her upcoming Radio City shows.
Speaking at the funeral will be Kevin Costner, Whitney’s The Bodyguard co-star. He might make mention of the fact that he was the one who pushed for Whitney to sing “I Will Always Love You,” originally a Dolly Parton country ballad, as the climactic number in The Bodyguard.
“Dolly’s song was a song that I just always really, really loved,” Costner told ABC News in 2009. “And truth be told, the musical side of her camp was very unsure about this little country song.”
He continued: “When we decided it would be a cappella for the movie, they said it would never play on the radio with this a capella thing in front. I said, ‘I don’t really care. But I wouldn’t be too sure about that.’ “
After “I Will Always Love You” spent 14 weeks at the top of the charts, it’s safe to safe Costner’s decision was the right one. We hope he’ll incorporate that story into his eulogy.
And, once again, Whitney: we will always love you.