A somber goodbye for Whitney Houston in childhood church

Hundreds gathered in Newark today to celebrate and honor the life of late pop diva Whitney Houston.The private funeral service was held at the New

NEWARK - Hundreds gathered in Newark today to celebrate and honor the life of late pop diva Whitney Houston.

The private funeral service was held at the New Hope Baptist church in Newark. A gleaming casket adorned with flowers of white, and lavender, Whitney's favorite color, sat at the front of the dais while a host of speakers commenced, beginning with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Houston, who was born in Newark and moved to East Orange when she was 4, performed as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the church when she was 11.

Houston's longtime musical mentor, Clive Davis, spoke at the funeral. The eulogy was given by gospel singer and longtime family friend Marvin Winans.

Others who took part in the program included Donnie McClurkin, Tyler Perry, Kim Burrell, Rickey Minor, Alicia Keys, Dionne Warwick and Cece Winans.

Fans without invitations were kept far away. Newark police say streets were shut down for six square blocks around the church.

Houston died Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif., at the age of 48. Her ties to New Jersey continued after her rise to stardom in the 1980s. In 1997, the Franklin School in East Orange was renamed to The Whitney E. Houston Academy School of Creative and Performing Arts.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized 1 Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized chaos'
Santa arrived a few days before Christmas this 2 Santa visits terminally ill 2-year-old
From a businessman in Atlantic City to president 3 From businessman to president, a look at Donald Trump's journey
President-elect Donald Trump set to be sworn in 4 Promises, pomp and protests as Trump sworn in as president
Video: President Trump's inauguaration speech 5 Video: President Trump's inauguration speech

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE