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Celebs pay tearful tribute to Whitney Houston

New Jersey, Feb 19 It was an emotional tribute. Whitney Houston’s mother, family, friends and some of the biggest names from the music world gathered here Saturday to pay their last respects to the iconic star, one of the world’s best-selling and highly-awarded music artists. The funeral held at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, saw singers Chaka Khan, Brandy, Roberta Flack, Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson, among the mourners.

Singer Ray J, who spent time with Houston during her last days, broke down crying, reports dailymail.co.uk.

But the tragic star’s distraught ex-husband Bobby Brown was seen storming out of the church shortly before the service began. He was driven away from the service but it is believed he later returned in time for the going-home service.

After a brief welcome by city mayor Cory Booke, pastor Joe Carter took to the alter to read some scripture and start the celebration of Houston’s life.

“Whitney you are the only woman who could bring all of us together, Whitney today is your day,” he said.

A programme featuring a picture of Houston looking skyward that read “Celebrating the life of Whitney Elizabeth Houston, a child of God” was screened. It had pictures of her as a baby, with her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, and daughter Bobbi Kristina.

“I never told you that when you were born, the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long,” Cissy Houston wrote to her daughter in a letter published in the programme.

“And I thank God for the beautiful flower he allowed me to raise and cherish for 48 years. Rest, my baby girl in peace,” ended the letter, undersigned “mommie”.

Gospel singer Donnie McClurken was the first soloist to sing. He performed “Stand”, which was a request from the Houston family, according to dailymail.co.uk.

Members of the congregation stood up and started raising their hands and praising as Donnie McClurken sang to the congregation accompanied by the large gospel choir.

Several others like Bebe Winans, Kim Burrell, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder performed touching numbers, and shared their heartwarming experiences and memories of Houston, who was found dead at a Beverly Hills hotel Feb 11. She was 48.

The family had prepared a service where singer Dionne Warwick, Houston’s cousin, music mogul Clive Davis, who shepherded Houston’s career for decades, actor Kevin Costner and sister-in-law Patricia Houston, spoke.

Her close family friend Aretha Franklin, whom Houston lovingly called Aunt Ree, was expected to sing at the service, but she could not attend due to illness.


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2 Responses to “Celebs pay tearful tribute to Whitney Houston”

  1. Lisa Fields
    February 22, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Whitney Houston was always my idol; the lost of her sadden me dearly. My mom died Oct.7, 2011 at the age of 47 yrs old. I never lost anyone close to me in my life and to have the first be my mom was devastating! I’m not in touch with this whole social networking thing, but if I could talk to Bobbi Kristina Brown, I would tell her she is not alone and to never let the things or people in this world bring her down. Sometimes the things that we go thru in life is overwhelming, sadden to say that the ones with all the fame get the worst end of the stick because nothing you do or say is private, as if life isn’t hard enough to deal with without all the exploitation. I can relate to you in many ways, I to used drugs to comfort me even before my mom passed and did it more thereafter. Trying to ease the pain not realizing I was only losing myself, I didn’t want to do or say anything to anyone I just wanted to be left alone. Boy, do I thank God for my upbringing, cuz I knew without judgment or ridicule who to run to. I knew that he would kept me in times of trouble, when I was high thinking suicidal thoughts, when I thought I couldn’t bear the pain, when I felt alone and lost he gave me the strength(Glory to God)to stand. My mom once told me if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Baby, stand for God!!! He will never judge you, leave you or forsake you. Cast all your cares unto him and he will deliver you.
    I want you to know that I’m still working on myself and my problems so don’t think I’m perfect trying to preach cuz I too am still broken(Just Remember Who to Run To).

  2. karen
    February 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    i am a cameroonian,an african.but whitney thot mi how 2 sing the american national anthem perfectly….luv u whitney

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