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Whitney Houston death ruled accidental drowningWhitney Houston fans are up in arms over a front-page photo the National Enquirer ran of the iconic songstress lying in an open casket.

The tasteless image shows Houston lying in a golden-colored casket donning a purple dress with a broach and sparkling earrings. The headline reads, “WHITNEY: THE LAST PHOTO!” On the cover are morbid subheads that describe how she was buried in jewelry worth $500,000, wore her favorite purple dress, and had gold slippers on her feet.
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(Editor’s Note: If you choose to see the photo, it can be seen here. NewsOne will not run the photo, because we feel it is unethical.)

An army of incensed fans took to social media platforms like Twitter, letting ‘er rip about their displeasure with the photo. According to FoxNews, though, the Enquirer’s publisher, Mary Beth Wright, calls the photo “beautiful.”

The Houston photo is not the first time that the Enquirer has published a photo of a dead celebrity in a coffin on its cover.  Back in 1977, when rock and roll singer Elvis Presley passed away, the Enquirer ran a photo of him in an open casket as well.

Now the question remains: Who sold Houston’s photo to the Enquirer? Carolyn Whigham, owner of Whigham Funeral Home where the singer’s body was prepared, denied that anyone on her staff took the photo.

“I’m going to answer you as the publicist told me to answer you: We have no comment, she said to the L.A. Times. “But it was not the funeral home.” Visibly irritated, she also said, “You guys are getting me in the middle,” adding that the publicity is making her business look bad.

Houston’s funeral took place this past Saturday and was attended by an impressive roster of who’s who in entertainment, business, and politics. The 48-year-old diva was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey, on Sunday in a burial service attended by close family and friends. She was buried beside her father, John Russell Houston Jr.

Houston’s official cause of death has yet to be determined.

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