Whitney Houston’s Funeral: Farewell To A Legend
Family, friends and fans bid farewell to Whitney Houston today at a funeral described as a “home going” that was at parts somber, joyous, hopeful and heartbreaking.
“I never told you that when you were born, the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long,” mother Cissy Houston wrote in the funeral program. “And I thank God for the beautiful flower he allowed me to raise and cherish for 48 years.”
At the end of the nearly four-hour long funeral, “I Will Always Love You” played as a distraught Cissy led her casket out of the church. Teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina followed, looking somewhat in shock still.
Speeches from Kevin Costner, Clive Davis, Tyler Perry and more allowed a glimpse into the life of not only an industry great, but a woman described as down to earth, kind and as real as it gets.
“The Whitney I knew was still wondering if I’m good enough. Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?” Costner said, with disbelief in his voice. “It was what made her great, and what caused her to stumble at the end.”
Alicia Keys paid tribute to Houston’s support of new artists like herself, Brandy, Monica and Jordin Sparks. “[She] made us feel strong and capable and loved,” Keys said before she sang her hit, “Send Me An Angel.”
“You wait for a voice like that for a lifetime,” Davis said. “You wait for a face like that, a smile like that, a presence like that for a lifetime. When one person embodies it all, it takes your breath away.”
Houston’s ex-husband (and father to Bobbi Kristina) Bobby Brown had a troubled time at the funeral. He arrived with his children Landon and LaPrincia, briefly touched the casket and then left at the start of the ceremony. He later explained, “My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston. We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions.”
Whitney Houston will be buried tomorrow in Westfield N.J.’s Fairview Cemetery. She will be laid to rest next to her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003.