Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Whitney Houston funeral takes place

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston's funeral has finished.

The iconic singer died in Los Angeles last weekend aged 48. A memorial for her took place today at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where Whitney sang in a gospel choir as a child.

The service lasted close to four hours, with stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey in attendance.

Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Kevin Costner and Stevie Wonder were among the people to speak or perform at the service, all introduced by Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick.

Stevie performed one of Whitney's favourite tracks.

"To all the family, I want you to know - as have millions of people said - not just in this time but throughout her career, we loved her so much and that won't stop," he said.

"In my fantasy world I had a crush on Whitney. I understand that Ribbons in the Sky is one of the ones that she liked a lot."

After Kevin Costner's emotional tribute to his co-star in the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, Whitney's mentor Clive Davis took to the stage.

He spoke of how honoured he was to have worked with her and revealed how excited she was to be working on a new movie called Sparkle.

"She came to see me and was excited about the new cuts from her new movie Sparkle," he said.

"'I've been swimming every day. I'm committed to getting my high notes back. No cigarettes. Clive I'll be ready by August,' [she said]. Well Whitney I will be ready by August. Everyone in heaven including God are waiting. And I just know you will raise the roof like no one has done before."

It's thought Whitney's body will be buried tomorrow in the Fairview cemetery in Westfield, which is where her father was laid to rest.

She is survived by her mother Cissy Houston and 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina.

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