A number of celebrities, family members and friends laid the legendary R&B singer Whitney Houston to rest today (February 18) in Newark, New Jersey.
Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills Hilton hotel bathtub on February 11.
The cause of death has yet to be determined.
Houston, 48, was laid to rest at New Hope Baptist Church, where A-listers like Kevin Costner, Bobbi Christina, Tyler Perry, Elton John, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Ray J., Roberta Flack, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and numerous others attended the invitation-only “home going” service.
Pastor Donnie McClurkin sang the first song, “Stand,” which was followed by a speech by Tyler Perry.
Next was a selection by Bebe and CeCe Winans, while Kim Burrell sang a version of Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Legendary actor Kevin Costner addressed the church with a few unheard stories about Whitney Houston.
“This feels right. I’d like to thank Cissy and Dionne for inviting me here. I’d like to say some stories. Maybe some of them you know, maybe some you don’t I wrote them down because I didn’t want to miss anything.” Kevin Costner said, who related several stories about his church upbringing and how it similar to Whitney Houston’s.
“At the height of her fame, I asked her to be my costar in the movie called ‘The Bodyguard.’ I thought she was the perfect choice, but the red flags came out immediately. Maybe I should think this over a bit. I was reminded that this that this would be her first acting role. ‘We could also think about another singer, maybe somebody white,’ was their suggestion. Nobody ever said it out loud, but it was a fair question. It was. There would be a lot riding on this. Maybe a more experienced actress was the way to go. It was clear I’d really have to think about this. I told everyone that I ‘have’ taken notice that Whitney was black. The only problem was I thought she was perfect for what we were trying to do,” Costner said, revealing how he personally selected Whitney Houston for the famous role.
A teary-eyed Alicia Keys was up next, who sat at the piano and performed the selection “Send Me An Angel.”
According to reports, Bobby Brown left the funeral after staying briefly. Apparently Brown was too distraught to stay.
“I am at Whitney’s funeral. I spoke with Bobby Brown trying to calm him down and not distract from the services,” Reverend Al tweeted. “Today is about Whitney!”
Other speakers and performers included Dionne Warwick, Clive Davis and R.Kelly.
Tomorrow (February 19), Whitney Houston will be buried at the John Russell Houston Jr., at the Fairview Cemetery.