TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he will order flags flown at half-staff at state government buildings Saturday in memory of Whitney Houston.
The governor says Houston was a "cultural icon" who belongs in the same category in New Jersey music history as Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.
He says her accomplishments were "a great source of pride for the people of the state."
Her funeral will be held the same day in her birthplace of Newark
Whitney Houston's family is asking that any donations in her memory be sent to the arts-focused public school in New Jersey that she attended as a child and that is now named after her.
In lieu of flowers, they say mourners should donate to the Whitney Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange.
Houston attended the school as a girl when it was named the Franklin School. She was a regular visitor for many years afterward. The singer was born in Newark but grew up in nearby East Orange.
Her invitation-only funeral is set for noon Saturday at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir. The Houston family says no public memorial service is planned at this time.