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Whitney Houston funeral: Aretha Franklin pulls out due to leg spasms

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Aretha Franklin has announced that she has been forced to miss Whitney Houston's funeral today (February 18) due to ill health.

Franklin, godmother to the late singer, had to cancel her performance at the New Jersey service after suffering "terrible leg spasms".

Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston

© PA Images



"Regretfully, I am so sorry that I was unable to be with you at Whitney's service today," the 69-year-old said in a statement.

"I had every intention of being there. But unfortunately I had terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles until 4am this morning following my concert last night (February 17), which I've been having for the last few days.

"I feel it necessary and very important to stay off my leg today as much as possible until concert time this evening. My heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne Warwick, Bobbi Kristina Brown and the rest of the family. May God keep them all."

The hearse carrying Whitney Houston

© Rich Schultz/AP/Press Association Images



Franklin paid tribute to Houston during her show at Radio City Music Hall yesterday, saying: "I would like to acknowledge the passing of one of the greatest singers that ever stood behind a microphone.

"She's moved on up just a little bit higher now. And we don't wonder where she is. One of the last songs she sung is 'Jesus Loves Me'. When God is for you, who can be against you? That's all that matters."

Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and R Kelly are performing at the New Hope Baptist Church service, while Kevin Costner, Clive Davis and Tyler Perry have been confirmed to speak.

Houston passed away last Saturday (February 11) at the age of 48 in her Los Angeles hotel room.

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