Brown invited to Houston's funeral

Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM
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NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- R&B singer Bobby Brown won't be banned from the invitation-only New Jersey funeral of his ex-wife Whitney Houston, a source close to Brown told ABC News.

The couple divorced in 2007 after a stormy 14-year marriage during which both Brown and Houston abused drugs.

Their 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has been hospitalized for stress and anxiety twice this week.

"My daughter Bobbi Kristina is doing much better," her father said Tuesday night in a statement issued to ABC. "We continue to provide love and support to Bobbi Kristina. She is dealing with the tragedy of her mother's death and would prefer to do it outside of the public eye. I ask again that our privacy be respected."

Houston, 48, was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room last Saturday, on the eve of the Grammy Awards ceremony, which she was scheduled to attend. Officials said they are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before determining the cause of her death, but sources close to her family have said a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs are believed to be to blame.

Born in Newark and raised in East Orange, Houston was known for her beauty and extraordinary voice. However, her career was overshadowed for years as she battled addictions to drugs and alcohol. Her funeral is set to take place Saturday at the Newark church where she began singing in the choir.

Although TMZ reported Houston's family is trying to keep Brown away from the recording star's funeral because they feel he is at least partly responsible for her downfall, a source told ABC News Brown has been invited.

ABC News said calls to Houston's family were not immediately returned.

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