Goodbye Whitney

Ex-husband Brown storms out funeral service Family & stars gather for service Lessons Rwandan stars learn from Whitney Houston’s tragic death
Carolyn Whigham leads pallbearers to the hearse with the body of Whitney Houston after the rousing funeral service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
Carolyn Whigham leads pallbearers to the hearse with the body of Whitney Houston after the rousing funeral service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
  • Ex-husband Brown storms out funeral service
  • Family & stars gather for service
  • Lessons Rwandan stars learn from Whitney Houston’s tragic death

WHITNEY Houston’s mother paid a heartbreaking tribute to her daughter at the tragic star’s funeral service, Saturday.

In a moving letter to the singer included in the service programme, Cissy Houston wrote: “I never told you that when you were born, the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long.

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

But there was drama as ex-husband Bobby Brown stormed out of the ceremony. The 43-year-old, who split with Whitney in 2007, was driven away from the funeral service after a row over seating arrangements.

In a statement he said: “My children and I were seated by security and then asked to move on three separate occasions.

“Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter Bobbi Kristina. In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene.”

Stevie Wonder spoke of his affection for Whitney at the service, before performing ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’.

And R&B sensation Alicia Keys performed ‘Send Me An Angel’ after tearfully recalling how Whitney was a “loving and beautiful” friend.

R Kelly sang ‘I Look To You’, the title track of Whitney’s seventh and final album.

Earlier, Whitney’s Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner spoke of his long friendship with the tragic star, asking mourners to “dry their eyes” and think about their happier memories of her.

In a heartfelt speech, the Hollywood icon remembered a star who “still wondered, ‘Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?”’

In a loving tribute, longtime friend and supporter Clive Davis recalled how the star helped him in “every aspect” of his life.

Whitney was due to attend Davis’s pre-Grammy’s party the night after she tragically died.

He said: “You wait a lifetime for that kind of voice to come along.”

The invitation-only ceremony to celebrate the life of the record-breaking star was attended by a host of world-renowned celebrities.

Inside the church, 1,500 mourners included stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, David Bowie and the Rev Jesse Jackson. Elton John, Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z were also among them.

She sold more than 50million records in the US alone. Her voice, an ideal blend of power, grace and beauty, made classics out of songs like Saving All My Love For You, I Will Always Love You, The Greatest Love Of All and I’m Every Woman. Her six Grammys were only a fraction of her many awards.

But amid the fame, a turbulent marriage to Brown and her addiction to drugs tarnished her image. She fell apart in front of the world.

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