There were sad moments and there were beautiful ones, but ultimately the whole world tuned in today to say good-bye to Whitney Houston. Celebrated at the family church in Newark, NJ., celebrities and family friends alike turned out by the thousands to mark this day with song and rememberances.
While Houston’s daughter and mother were seated behind her coffin, stars like Kevin Costner, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys took the stage to honor her with their words and their songs.
“Grace carried her through life and grace carried her home,” noted Tyler Perry.
The otherwise perfect ceremony was only slightly marred by the disappearence of Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown. Brown showed up at the funeral with a large entourage, but was eventually turned away due to space limitations. He was later seen leaving the church in tears.
“They could have accommodated him better than they did,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN after the ceremony. The Rev. Al Sharpton seemed to share these sentiments, stating, “Bobby did nothing but show love and respect for Whitney and his daughter.”
Bobby Brown later issued a statement himself, saying “My children and I were invited to the funeral and were seated by security and were asked to move on three seperate occassions… In light of events, I departed…”
Despite the slight controversy, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when her body was carried away to the sounds of “I Will Always Love You.” Houston will be laid to rest tomorrow in Fairview Cemetary in Westfield, NJ — the same cemetary in which her father is buried.