All about Whitney Houston’s funeral

A tight police cordon couldn’t keep Whitney Houston’s fans away from her funeral Saturday, and as they watched the service on their laptops, smartphones, and TV, they shared their emotions all online.
Fans talked of the impact Houston had on their lives, whether her music gave them the confidence to pursue a singing career or just brightened their childhood memories.
Seeing the posts of thousands of others on sites like Facebook and Twitter made some fans feel like they were part of a big community sharing the same grief and thoughts.
“It was very inspirational to see how she touched millions of lives” – said Vincent Coleman, 26, who watched the service using his iPhone.
“It was just refreshing to see how she just had such a dynamic impact on the world.”
Another fan, Garrett Griffen, wrote on CNN’s Facebook page that he was thankful the funeral service was topping the news Saturday.
“In this small moment in time a bigger audience is coming together to not only remember a great human being who had faults and worked through them, but we are also witness to the power of love and how it is greater than all suffering” – he wrote.
Many fans said they enjoyed the jubilant singing by the two gospel choirs, the New Hope Baptist Church Mass Choir and the New Jersey Mass Choir, which opened the service.
They enjoyed hearing Bishop T.D. Jakes speak of victory over death, with many fans simply tweeting his words: “Death has not won.”
“TD Jakes was born to preach” – wrote Twitter user Banky Wellington.

All about Whitney Houston's funeral
Whitney Houston funeral.

They’re two of the biggest stars in the world, but Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey made a conscious effort to blend into the congregation at Whitney Houston’s ‘going home’ service.
Today was, after all, about one diva, and only diva only… and it was paramount that Whitney Elizabeth “Nippy” Houston took centre-stage for the last time.
So mindful of their superstar statuses and the chaos that follows in their wake, Winfrey and Carey undertook every conceivable measure to retain a low-profile.
The talk show behemoth kept her head down as she entered the church in head-to-toe black, and Carey, a friend of the late star, went for an uncharacteristically muted look.
With her hair scraped back into a unfussy ponytail, ebony clothing covering every inch of her body and a pair of similarly blacked out glasses to hide her puffy eyes, the mother-of-two was virtually unrecognisable as she leaned on X Factor judge L.A Reid.
He was described as Whitney’s “industry uncle,” by Pat Houston, after she thanked Clive Davis for being a consistent father figure in the music business.
This unobtrusive tone was maintained throughout today’s refreshingly uplifting and intimate proceedings.
Houston’s A-list friends managed to honour their peer while not impinging on what was essentially a community church service, a way of returning Whitney back to her Baptist upbringing.
The celebrities who did speak or sing were those who had a link to this world.
Another Clive Davis protegee, Alicia Keys, sang Send Me an Angel after a few remarks about Whitney.
“We called each other Meema” – Alicia recalled. “She was such a beautiful human being. Call you for no reason at all but just to say hi. And that’s rare I think sometimes.”

After all the testimonials from relatives and friends, the songs from legends and pop stars, the preaching and even laughter, the raw emotion of Whitney Houston’s funeral came down to just one moment: The sound of her voice.
As the strains of her biggest record – “I Will Always Love You,” filled the New Hope Baptist Church at the end of the nearly four-hour service and her silver and gold casket was lifted in the air, the weight of the moment was too much for her mother, Cissy Houston, to bear.
She wailed: “My baby! My baby!” as she was held up by two women and led out of the church behind her daughter’s body.
A few steps behind was the pop icon’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, crying uncontrollably as she was comforted by her mother’s friend – Ray J.
It was the most searing scene on a day with mixed moods as family, friends and celebrities came to the humble New Hope Baptist church to remember one of music’s legends who also was a New Jersey hometown girl.
Houston died last Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif., on the eve of the Grammy Awards at the age of 48. Her death marked the end of a life that was marked by stunning achievements – Blessed with a voice of great power and beauty, Houston became one of pop music’s most successful artists over a career that spanned nearly three decades and segued into film with hits such as “The Bodyguard.”
But her struggles with drugs and public fall from grace during tumultuous times, including a union with ex-husband Bobby Brown, were among the many valleys in her life.
Both sides of Houston were recalled during the service at New Hope, which was filled with about 300 mourners, including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Diane Sawyer and her cousin, Dionne Warwick.
“She was someone with a charmed and a beautiful life, sometimes misunderstood, even by herself” – said her sister-in-law and manager, Patricia Houston. “But a life nevertheless that gave joy, happiness, enthusiasm, peace and beautiful music to millions of people around the world.”
Kevin Costner (her co-star in “The Bodyguard”) said that for all of Houston’s beauty and success, she still yearned for approval from the public and was somewhat insecure, a superstar who “wondered: ‘Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?’ ”
“It’s a tree we could all hang from — the unexplainable burden that comes with fame” – he said. “Call it doubt. Call it fear. I’ve had mine. And I know the famous in the room have had theirs.”

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