This past Saturday was a very important and emotional day in music as the family and friends of Whitney Houston gathered to celebrate her homegoing in Newark, NJ. The service was held at New Hope Baptist Church, the church where Whitney grew up singing. Emotions were high as those in attendance expressed joy, pain and touching moments through spoken word and song.
Nearly 1,500 people were present to the invite-only service and, for the rest of us, the service was televised on CNN, BET, E! Network and several websites posted via live stream allowing fans to be apart of the ceremony and pay their respects. Invitees included Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, R.Kelly, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Clive Davis, Dionne Warwick, Rev.Donnie McClurkin, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Marvin Winans, Kevin Costner and Stevie Wonder — all of whom had fond memories and emotional testimonies of the singer.
Even watching at home, you got the sense that her spirit was present even if you weren’t actually there. Anyone who was a fan has a memory of how her music has touched some aspect of their lives and having the opportunity to share in the moments of this trying time is unforgettable. Clive Davis said it best. ”Her music was the soundtrack to our lives.”
Sadly, there was dramas surrounding Whitney’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown. Sources reported that after 20 minutes of being at the service, Bobby Brown left. Bobby was said to have brought nine people with him (his other children were a part of that group) and supposedly the seating arrangements only allowed him to bring 3. Rumors floated throughout that day that Bobby was asked to leave but Brown released a statement regarding the incident clarifying that it was his choice to leave to keep the peace.
“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.”