Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Whitney to be buried next to father

Whitney Houston is to be buried next to her father (AP)
Whitney Houston is to be buried next to her father (AP)

Whitney Houston is to reach her final resting place as she is buried alongside her father.

Some of the biggest names in the music industry came together to bid an emotional farewell to the singer at her funeral service in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday.

Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, R Kelly and a host of gospel stars performed during the three hour and 45 minute-long ceremony, while actor Kevin Costner fought back tears as he gave a moving eulogy.

Alicia described Whitney, 48, as an "angel" and a "beautiful human being", while Kevin, who starred with her in The Bodyguard, described her as the "greatest pop star in the world".

Her biggest hit, I Will Always Love You, was played as the marathon service at New Hope Baptist Church, where she performed as a child, came to a close.

But Whitney's former husband Bobby Brown walked out of the heavily religious service, designed to be a celebration of her life and career. He was seen to approach her flower-covered coffin at the front of the church and touch it before leaving.

Their tumultuous 15-year marriage came to an end in 2007 following allegations of domestic abuse and her much-publicised battle with drug addiction.

Whitney was found submerged in the bath in her hotel room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles last Saturday.

The death of the star, one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, prompted a worldwide outpouring of grief, but her family decided that they wanted her funeral to be an invitation-only event with a single camera allowed in to film it.

Despite the hundreds of mourners present, the Baptist service retained an intimate feel, with many personal tales of Whitney recited to laughs and applause from the congregation, which included her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and mother Cissy Houston. She will be laid to rest next to her father John at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.

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