Millions of fans and music lovers witnessed a heartwrenching funeral in Newark, N.J., today. For more than three hours, Houston's friends and family paid tribute to the 48-year-old singer, who died last Saturday in a Beverly Hills hotel room.
Whitney Houston’s funeral service was performed in a church where she performed as a child in front of her family and community.
Numerous renowned celebrities attended the ceremony. Tyler Perry, Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder and Academy Award winnerwere among the celebrities present at the funeral. Other celebrities that were present were , , , and - who have always looked up to Whitney as an institution of inspiration. Aretha Franklin wasn’t able to attend the funeral due to health issues.
Rev. Joe A. Carter shared his sentiments by saying, "We are here today, hearts broken, but yet with God's strength we celebrate the life of Whitney Houston.”
Kevin Costner, her co-star in "The Bodyguard", said that Houston worried about being liked and being good enough. "Call it doubt, call it fear -- I've had mine and I know the famous in the room have had theirs," he said. "It was the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble in the end."
Many people talked about Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, and mentioned how much she loved her daughter. Various touching songs were played at the funeral. Pastor Donnie McClurkin of Freeport's Perfecting Faith Church said the family asked him to sing his hit "Stand", which includes the lines, "When there's nothing left to do, you just stand, watch the Lord see you through . . . Yes, after you done all you can, you just stand."
R. Kelly sang the hit he wrote for Houston, "I Look to You", which includes the lines, "After all my strength is gone, in you I can be strong."
Whitney’s funeral ended with a recording of Houston singing "I Will Always Love You" as pallbearers carried her gold-colored casket out of the church.
It was a sad moment. Thousands of fans had gathered near the church bustling in streets despite a lot of security checks. Whitney Houston’s family didn’t want the funeral to become a public affair, so they tried to make it as private as possible.
Houston is expected to be buried Sunday at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., where her father, John Houston, is buried.