Houston’s hearse arrives at the church.
An emotionally distraught Bobby Brown arrived at Whitney Houston’s funeral but he left before the service started because of a dispute over seating. In a statement, Brown said, “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. … I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know how.”
Fans sign artwork by artist Mark G outside of the funeral service.
Whitney Houston fans watch streaming video of the funeral on a television network truck close to the New Hope Baptist Church where the service was held.
The Rev. Al Sharpton arrived at the funeral. After the funeral he said on MSNBC, “I think Cissy Houston was right in bringing this back to the church. It renewed everyone’s faith in having her closest friends and people who works with her speak and remind us who she really was at the core.” Sharpton also called Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown after he abruptly left the service. “He came to show his love and respect and everyone should leave it at that.” At one point Sharpton tweeted, “I spoke with Bobby Brown trying to calm him down and not distract from the services. Today is about Whitney."
R&B singer and New Jersey native Jaheim arriving at the funeral for Whitney Houston. He was among the many celebrities — including Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and R. Kelly — who came to pay their respects to one of music’s biggest stars.
R&B icon Roberta Flack arriving at the New Hope Baptist Church. Flack, who was among Houston’s musical influences, said after the funeral to Associated Press, “Stevie Wonder rewrote the words to ‘Ribbon In the Sky.’ That was very special because that was her favorite song.”
Alicia Keys gave a emotional performance of her single, “Send Me an Angel.” Before singing, Keys said Houston inspired and supported her and the younger generation of singers, including Monica, Brandy and Jordin Sparks, the American Idol winner who co-stars with Houston in the upcoming remake of the 1976 film Sparkle. “She made us feel like strong and capable and love. She’s an angel to us,” said Keys.
Pallbearers carry Houston’s casket to a hearse outside New Hope Baptist Church after funeral services.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a longtime family friend, said in an Associated Press interview before the funeral at New Hope Baptist Church that Houston “took us to levels of joy, from ‘The Star Spangled,’ at a time the nation was war torn, to ‘I Will Always Love You,’ the greatest, always positive, uplifting music that made us feel better about ourselves."
A fan reacts as Houston's hearse drives by New Hope Baptist Church after the private funeral for the R&B icon.