Posted on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 3:36pm PDT
Whitney Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown did attend the singer's funeral, despite conflicting reports that claim he did not -- but Brown did not stay for the full service.
Brown reportedly entered the church, paid his respects at Whitney's casket, and left, according to Us Weekly. The singer released a statement to clear up rumors about what happened:
- "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."
Houston and Brown's daughter Bobbi Kristina came out for the first time since suffering a nervous breakdown after her mother's death. The 18-year-old was comforted by her grandmother Cissy Houston during the service.
Meanwhile, Houston's former Bodyguard costar, Kevin Costner, addressed a group of about 1500 family and friends at the New Hope Baptist Church, to pay his respects.
He told the story of casting Whitney for their 1992 film and how Whitney was nervous at the audition. She had no reason to be, Costner said to her, "Whitney, you weren't just good enough, you were great." The production was put on hold for a year until she finished her tour and could start work on the film.
Costner added a word of advice to Houston's daughter and to other young girls:
- "To you, Bobbi Kristina, and to all those young girls who are dreaming that dream, thinking that maybe they aren't good enough, I think Whitney would tell you, guard your bodies. And guard the precious miracle of your own life. Then sing your hearts out."
And he ended by saying:
- "Off you go Whitney, off you go. Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly Father. When you sing before him, don't you worry. You'll be good enough."
Houston's mentor Clive Davis addressed mourners by explaining that meeting someone like Whitney is a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
- "You wait for a voice like that a for a lifetime. You wait for a face, a presence like that for a lifetime. When one person embodies it all, it takes your breath away. That's what I felt in 1983 when your daughter shattered me with her version of 'Greatest Love of All," he said looking at Whitney's mother Cissy.
Alicia Keys sang "Send Me An Angel" and remembered Houston by the nickname Me Ma, saying:
- "She would call you for no reason at all, but just to say 'hi,' Keys, who struggled to hold back tears, said. "She was a beautiful human being -- really caring, beautiful, thoughtful."
Houston's casket was carried out with Whitney's rendition of "I Will Always Love You," playing. A silver casket left the church about three and a half hours after the memorial service began and was taken to the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ, where she will be buried next to her father, John Houston, on Sunday.
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