Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 28 April 2015

In Pictures: Final farewell to Whitney Houston

Fans mourn at the funeral service for Whitney Houston
Fans mourn at the funeral service for Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston has been buried next to her father (AP)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Bobbi Kristina Houston arrives at Whigham Funeral Home for a private viewing for her mother Whitney Houston on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
The hearse carrying the body of Whitney Houston arrives at Fairview Cemetery for her burial (AP)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Cards and flowers are displayed at a makeshift memorial outside "The New Hope Baptist Church" on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
The hearse carrying the body of Whitney Houston is taken to New Hope Baptist Church in Newark for her funeral (AP)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Cards and flowers are displayed at a makeshift memorial outside the Whigham Funeral Home on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Cards and flowers are displayed at a makeshift memorial outside "The New Hope Baptist Church" on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 17: Cards and flowers are displayed at a makeshift memorial outside "The New Hope Baptist Church" on February 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
The grave stone of Whitney Houston's father, John Russell Houston, Jr, is seen at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., Whitney Houston was buried alongside her father.
Whitney Houston was joyful before her death, her make-up artist said
Singer Whitney Houston and hern daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown
Whitney Houston playing in Sheffield
Kevin Costner
Whitney Houston is expected to storm back into the charts
People walk past, a large image of Whitney Houston displayed on the side of the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.
Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown
Whitney Houston pictured at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The body of Whitney Houston arrives at Whigham Funeral Home, in Newark, N.J., Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. The 48-year-old pop star was found dead in the bathtub in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy gala.
Fans attend attend Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 13: Cissy Houston arrives as Whitney Houston's Body Arrives In New Jersey Ahead Of Her Funeral at Whigham Funeral Home on February 13, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Poster of Whitney Houston with candles at Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Eric Williams, Travon Marshall, Juliette Tate and friends attend Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Adinett Nsabimana dances at Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Fans attend attend Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: A general view of atmosphere outside of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles in remembrance of Whitney Houston on February 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
The American singer and actress, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, has died, aged 48.
File picture, dated February 17, 1999, American singer Whitney Houston makes a rare appearance for her fans at the HMV store in Oxford Circus, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday February 12, 2012. The American singer and actress, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, has died, aged 48. See PA story SHOWBIZ Houston. Picture credit should read: Peter Jordan/PA Archive
File picture, dated September 09, 1999, Whitney Houston kicks off her first tour of the UK in six years, in Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday February 12, 2012. The American singer and actress, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, has died, aged 48. See PA story SHOWBIZ Houston. Picture credit should read:John Giles/PA Archive
In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Whitney Houston performs during the Billboard Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Dec. 7, 1998. Often referred to as the Queen of Pop music at her best, Houston ex-wife of singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at the age of 48. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau)
FILE - In this March 25, 2001 file photo, Bobby Brown and his then wife Whitney Houston arrive at Vanity Fair's Oscar party at Morton's in Hollywood on Sunday, March 25, 2001. Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image was ruined by erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday Feb. 11, 2012. She was 48. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)
Fans take pictures with a plaque commemorating Whitney Houston's Record of the Year and Album of the Year for the 36th Grammy Awards, at LA Live in Los Angeles, on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, on the eve of the Grammys, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Donzaleigh Abernathy places a flower at a memorial outside the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday, Feb. 11. She was 48. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
LOS ANGELES - (FILE PHOTO): Singer Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of International - Favorite Artist Award onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. According to reports on February 11, 2012, Houston has died at the age 48. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: LA Police attend the Beverly Hilton Hotel in the early hours of February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Singer and film star Whitney Houston aged 48 has died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Photo/Toby Canham/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: LA Coroners leave the Beverly Hilton Hotel possibly carrying the body of the singer Whitney Houston in the early hours of February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Singer and film star Whitney Houston aged 48 has died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Photo/Toby Canham/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: LA Coroners arrive and after time leave the Beverly Hilton Hotel possibly carrying the body of the singer Whitney Houston in the early hours of February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Singer and film star Whitney Houston aged 48 has died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Photo/Toby Canham/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: LA Coroners leave the Beverly Hilton Hotel possibly carrying the body of the singer Whitney Houston in the early hours of February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Singer and film star Whitney Houston aged 48 has died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (Photo/Toby Canham/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 12: Mourner Donna Thorn of Newark, New Jersey creates a memorial for singer Whitney Houston, at The New Hope Baptist Church on February 12, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Singer Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John W. Ferguson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Host LL Cool J pays tribute to singer Whitney Houston onstage at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Remembrances of singer Whitney Houston are seen around Harlem's Apollo Theatre on the streets of Manhattan on February 12, 2012 in New York City. Singer Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Remembrances of singer Whitney Houston are seen around Harlem's Apollo Theatre on the streets of Manhattan on February 12, 2012 in New York City. Singer Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Remembrances of singer Whitney Houston are seen around Harlem's Apollo Theatre on the streets of Manhattan on February 12, 2012 in New York City. Singer Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Whitney Houston is displayed on the screen during Jennifer Hudson's performance onstage at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Jennifer Hudson performs during a memoriam for Whitney Houston onstage at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
File picture, dated February 09, 2008, Whitney Houston arrives at the Carl Davis Pre-Grammy party at the Beverley Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles
File picture, dated February 17, 1999, American singer Whitney Houston makes a rare appearance for her fans at the HMV store in Oxford Circus, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday February 12, 2012. The American singer and actress, who was one of the world's best-selling artists in the 1980s and 1990s, has died, aged 48. See PA story SHOWBIZ Houston. Picture credit should read: Peter Jordan/PA Archive
Whitney Houston's autopsy report is being kept under wraps
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Beyonce Knowles
Whitney Houston's funeral will be at her childhood church
Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston's former husband dramatically walked out of her funeral today as some of the biggest names in the music industry gathered to pay tribute to her.

Bobby Brown was seen to walk to her flower-covered coffin at the front of New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, and touch it before walking out.

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

Gospel choirs filled the church, where Houston herself performed as a child, with song while Alicia Keys, who described her as an "angel" and a "beautiful human being", also performed.

Meanwhile actor Kevin Costner, who starred with Houston in The Bodyguard, described her during the service as the "greatest pop star in the world".

Houston, 48, 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 a private invitation-only event.

Stevie Wonder also performed, describing it as "such an emotional moment".

"I had so much respect for her love for music," he said as he sat before a grand piano at the front of the church.

Aretha Franklin was also meant to sing but was said to be too ill to attend.

Despite the hundreds of mourners present, the Baptist service retained an intimate feel, with many personal tales of Houston recited to laughs and applause from the congregation.

Describing working with her on the 1992 film, Costner said Houston was "as beautiful as a woman could be".

He went on: "The people didn't just like you Whitney, they loved you.

"You're gone too soon, leaving us with memories of a little girl who stepped in front of this church, in front of the ones that loved you first, in front of the ones that loved you best, and loved you the longest.

"Then boldly you stepped into the white hot light of the world stage and what you did is the rarest of achievements, you set the bar so high."

Pastor Joe A Carter led prayers and told mourners: "Whitney, you are the only one that can bring all of us together. Whitney, today is your day. We celebrate."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker told the congregation: "We are here to mourn our loss but to celebrate her life. We love you Whitney."

R'n'B singer R Kelly sang Houston's own hit I Look to You as her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and mother Cissy Houston looked on.

Other prominent gospel singers including Andrew McClurkin, Kim Burrell and brother and sister Bebe and Cece Winans also gave performances, with Bebe Winans joking that he would most miss "crazy Whitney".

Actor and director Tyler Perry said Houston's "grace led her to the top of the charts".

"There was a grace that kept on carrying her," he added.

Houston's cousin, soul singer Dionne Warwick, read a poem, while her long-time mentor, music mogul Clive Davis, and her sister-in-law Patricia Houston also spoke during the lengthy service, which lasted three hours and 45 minutes.

Houston's most famous song I Will Always Love You was played over speakers in the church as the coffin was carried out and guests began to leave.

Thousands of fans of the singer were also gathered outside the church to pay their last respects.

Houston's final resting place will be next to her father John at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey. He was buried there in 2003.

At the peak of her success Houston won multiple Grammys including album and record of the year, and sold millions of albums and singles worldwide.

But her career began to unravel as she battled with drug addiction, spending various spells in rehab. Her voice also began to suffer, prompting record sales to nosedive.

Houston appeared on the X Factor in Britain in 2009 and released a new album after seven years off the scene.

The cause of her death remains unclear and the results of toxicology tests are awaited.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz