Whitney Houston’s funeral, held at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., was an emotional three-and-a-half hour long service attended by bold-faced names including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Kevin Costner, Clive Davis and Dionne Warwick, among others. In addition to the star-studded list of attendees, there were some stirring performance by Houston’s contemporaries and admirers, proving that the diva’s influence will extend long past her short, troubled but brilliant life.

Unfortunately, Aretha Franklin, who was expected to perform at funeral, was unable to attend due to “leg spasms and locked leg muscles,” reports People. In her stead, Alicia Keys sang a tearful “Send Me An Angel” after saying a few words about Houston’s influence on her own music. “In so many ways, [Whitney] reached back to people: to me, to Brandy, to Jordin [Sparks]. All these young artists, and they just feel strong and capable and loved,” Keys said, “I think she's an angel to us, and a beautiful human being."

See a video of the performance:

As soon as he took to the pulpit, R. Kelly belted out a soulful rendition of “I Look to You,” a hit song he wrote for Houston. After the performance, Kelly gave a few but heartfelt words. “We love you, Whitney,” he said, “rest in peace.”

Stevie Wonder offered a brief moment of levity when he said, “In my little fantasy world, I had a little crush of Whitney,” eliciting laughter from the emotional crowd, before he went into his hit song, “Love’s in Need of Love.” By the end of the tune, the entire congregation of 1500 friends and family, including the choir, were on their feet clapping, swaying and singing along with Wonder.

See a video of the performance:


  • Mijon Zulu
    Mijon Zulu on

    Beautiful, Stevie, beautiful.

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