Whitney Houstons body arrived in her home state of New Jersey on Monday night, ahead of a funeral expected later this week for the pop superstar whose blockbuster career was often overshadowed by drug and alcohol abuse.
A plane owned by actor-producer Tyler Perry landed at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, where security was tight. A gold hearse left the airport and arrived just before midnight at the Whigham funeral home in Newark, the city where Houston was born. A crowd of about 50 fans had gathered outside.
A spokeswoman for Houstons family said plans for a memorial had not yet been completed, but media reports have said a public viewing and funeral would be held later this week.
Houston (48) rose from singing in a church choir to become one of the best-selling and most admired performers of her generation.
She won six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a 25-year career that also saw her star in such blockbuster films as The Bodyguard. She was best known for her 1992 hit single I Will Always Love You.
But Houstons success was eclipsed later in life by problems with drinking and drugs. She had a long history of addiction to alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, admitting so on television talk shows. She was in rehab as recently as May 2011.
Houston died in a Beverly Hills hotel room Saturday on the eve of the music industrys Grammy Awards, and because of her drug battles, speculation arose that she might have died of a drug overdose.
On Monday, Beverly Hills police called a news conference to address the media rumours, but did not add much additional information. They did say the singers body had been found underwater in the hotel rooms bathtub.
Ms Houston was apparently discovered in the bathtub by a member of her personal staff, who called hotel security, Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen said. She was pulled from the bathtub, but when paramedics arrived she was unconscious and unresponsive, he said.