Only hundreds may have gathered in Newark, N.J. to celebrate the life and legacy of Whitney Houston; however, millions all over the world tuned in to pay tribute to the singer during a four-hour ceremony at the New Hope Baptist Church.
Over 1.7 million tuned into the live Internet stream of Houston’s funeral while it also streamed delayed on network and cable television.
Click here to see inside Houston’s “homegoing” >>
Celebrities took the stage to pay their respects to Houston, with stars revealing sides of the singer many never knew.
Music industry “father,” Clive Davis paid respects to the woman who was “always holding his hand,” and Tyler Perry revealed how we may have never heard the singer’s voice.
Kevin Costner gave one of the best speeches, sharing similarities between both him and the singer—they both grew up in baptist churches—and recalling behind the scenes knowledge of how Houston landed her role in “The Bodyguard.”
“She hadn’t said four lines when they had to stop,” Costner said of the screen test for her Hollywood debut. “She wanted to know what was wrong,” Costner said. “I needed to know what she did in those 20 minutes. She said ‘Nothing.'”
What she did was reapply makeup before the screen test to look just perfect; however, the hot lights of the stage sent it streaming down her face.
Many performers had a tough time making it through their performances with Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and R. Kelly among the stars who paid tribute. Both Keys and Kelly had to pause during song.
Among those in the audience that didn’t speak or perform included Oprah and Mariah Carey.
The only fuss came prior to the ceremony’s start when Bobby Brown entered the church with an entourage of nine briefly to pay his respects before walking out after a family altercation, according to CNN.
Despite the brief skirmish, it was truly a warm sendoff for the singer.
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