Kevin Costner gave one of the most touching speeches at Whitney Houston‘s funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday (February 18).
“You weren’t just pretty,” said the 57-year-old actor, who co-starred in 1992′s The Bodyguard with Whitney. “You were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn’t just like you Whitney. They loved you.”
Whitney Houston’s funeral is invitation-only and attendance will be limited to family and friends, but Saturday’s services are set to be seen around the world: They will stream online and be shown on a number of TV networks.
Houston’s funeral is slated to begin at 9 a.m. Pacific at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. — the late pop titan’s childhood church.
Among those attending are Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown (the father of her only child, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown), her “Bodyguard” co-star Kevin Costner, cousin Dionne Warwick, Ray J, Brandy, Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry and CeCe Winans, Bobbi Kristina’s godmother.
Houston’s godmother, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder are expected to sing tributes, and her longtime mentor and producer, Clive Davis, will speak.
Houston died Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills at age 48. Her body arrived in New Jersey late Monday. She will be buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., where her father was interred, according to her death certificate.
Although the singer’s family canceled plans for a large public memorial, Houston’s publicist later announced that the service for family and friends will be made available for television and Web streaming.
BET and sister network Centric will cover the funeral during its special “Live: The Homegoing of Whitney Houston,” starting at 8:30 a.m. Pacific. The network will also air “BET Remembers Whitney,” a one-hour special honoring the singer, after the live coverage ends. On the special, BET News correspondent Bevy Smith interviews Houston’s industry friends and colleagues, including gospel singer Kim Burrell; Kelly Price, who shared Houston’s last public performance; Faith Evans; Ledisi; and India Arie.
E! announced it will broadcast live and online without interruptions from inside the church, and CNN will broadcast and stream the event on its website beginning at 8 a.m. Pacific. The CNN special “Whitney Houston: Life, Death, Music” will be anchored by Piers Morgan, Soledad O’Brien and Don Lemon.
Fans can also watch Fox News, HLN and MSNBC for live coverage. Our television blog, Show Tracker, has a complete rundown of the listings. And you can follow The Times’ coverage here.
Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are set to perform musical tributes to Whitney Houston during her funeral in New Jersey on Saturday.
We’re also told Oprah Winfrey has been invited to the private service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, and that Kevin Costner will speak about his co-star from The Bodyguard.
Houston’s musical mentor Clive Davis is confirmed to speak, and gospel singer Marvin Winans is slated to eulogize his longtime friend.
Despite reports elsewhere, Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown will be in attendance at the funeral.