Bobby Brown speaks out about Whitney funeral
Bobby Brown speaks out about Whitney funeral, Whitney Houston’s funeral, As family, friends and fans celebrated Whitney's life, Bobby Brown's presence apparently caused a stir. Whitney Houston's funeral took place in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday. The late singer's body arrived at New Hope Baptist Church in a gold-coloured hearse. Her coffin was draped with white and purple flowers. Her mother, Cissy Houston, and daughter, Bobbi Kristina, sat at the front of the church, as did Stevie Wonder and Clive Davis.
The programme featured a letter from Cissy to Whitney: "I never told you that when you were born, the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long.
"And I thank God for the beautiful flower he allowed me to raise and cherish for 48 years.
"Rest, my baby girl in peace. Mommie."
It was reported that Bobby Brown, Whitney's ex-husband, left the church early. He released a statement following the service to explain the situation: "My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston.
"We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions. I fail to understand why security treated my family this way and continue to ask us and no one else to move. Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter Bobbi Kristina.
"In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene. My children are completely distraught over the events.
"This was a day to honor Whitney. I doubt Whitney would have wanted this to occur. I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know how."
Music minister A. Curtis Farrow began the service, before Newark mayor Cory Booker addressed the congregation: "God is in heaven and with him is one of our angels, Whitney Houston."
Donnie McClurkin sang 'Stand' and and NJ Mass Choir sang 'The Lord Is My Shepherd.' Rev. Joe Carter read from the scriptures and said: "Whitney, today is your day. We celebrate."
Dionne Warwick, Whitney's cousin, invited each of the guests chosen to speak or perform to give their words of expression.
Actor Tyler Perry, whose private jet flew Whitney's body from Los Angeles to New Jersey earlier in the week, spoke about the "grace" that carried and led Whitney throughout her life. The second constant Tyler said he knew for sure was that Whitney: "loved the Lord."
BeBe Winans was overcome with emotion, saying: "What I'm going to miss is crazy Whitney." The singer managed to recount a funny story which made the congregation laugh, and sang the song he wrote when his brother died, 'I Really Miss You.'
Bishop T D Jakes spoke about the pain everyone was experiencing, saying: "The Bible says love is stronger than death," adding: "God is love."
Kim Burrell sang one of Whitney's favourite songs, 'A Change Is Gonna Come' and changed the words to make it about Whitney's life.
Kevin Costner, Whitney's co-star in The Bodyguard, urged us all to: "Dry our tears, suspend our sorrow, and perhaps our anger, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney."
He added they had many things in common, like growing up in the Baptist church. The actor recalled his conversations about God with Whitney, and how he backed Whitney to get the part in their film, despite obstacles.
He said: "You weren't just pretty, you were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn't just like you Whitney, they loved you."
Kevin received a standing ovation as he finished his tribute: "So off you go Whitney, off you go. Escorted by an army angels to your Heavenly Father. And when you sing before him, don't you worry. You'll be good enough."
Alicia Keys tearfully recounted how they called each other 'Meema' and that her son now calls her by the nickname. The singer talked about how Whitney reached back to her and fellow young singers Monica, Brandy and Jordin, and made them feel "strong and capable and loved. She was an angel to us." She then sang 'Can You Send an Angel,' her voice breaking with emotion.
Record producer Clive Davis, at whose party last Saturday Whitney was due to perform, spoke about how she took his breath away when he heard her sing 'The Greatest Love Of All.' He recalled how beautiful she looked when they spoke recently about music.
The congregation applauded when he spoke of Whitney's incomparable rendition of 'Star Spangled Banner.' He recounted his: "Memories: vivid, indelible memories."
He added: "She was there for me, an eternally loyal friend. I was her industry father. I was and am so proud of her. Bobbi Kristina, you too, you always be proud of your mother. She loved you so very much... She will always be looking after you, and will always be holding your hand."
Clive ended by saying: "Everyone in Heaven, including God, is waiting, and I just know you're going to raise the roof like no-one's done before."
Dionne went to introduce Aretha Franklin, Whitney's godmother, but unfortunately the singer was unable to attend the service.
Aretha released a statement via her spokesperson earlier to say: "Regretfully, I am so sorry that I was unable to be with you at Whitney's service today. I had every intention of being there.
"But unfortunately I had terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles until 4:00AM this morning following my concert last night, which I've been having for the last few days.
"I feel it necessary and very important to stay off my leg today as much as possible until concert time this evening.
"My heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne, Bobbi Kristina and the rest of the family. May God keep them all."
Ray Watson, Whitney's bodyguard for almost 11 years recounted how he had "lost a friend, a boss, a sister." He described her a "beautiful and caring woman."
He added: "We need to give back to our entertainers. We need to treat them with dignity and treat them with love, and stop ridiculing them... They give their lives to you... Let's give them love. This lady right here, she loved you."
Stevie Wonder spoke about the "emotional moment" and admitted he had "a little crush on Whitney." He sang: 'Love's in Need of Love Today.'
Patricia Houston, Whitney's sister-in-law, also paid tribute and R Kelly performed before CeCe Winans sang.
Other attendees at the funeral included Jordin Sparks, who starred with Whitney in upcoming film Sparkle.
Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack and Jennifer Hudson, who paid tribute to Whitney at the Grammys, also attended. Ray J, Whitney's close friend, was comforted by his sister, singer Brandy.
Rev Marvin Winans gave the eulogy. The silver casket containing the late singer's body was carried out of the church to 'I Will Always Love You.'