One week after her passing, Whitney Houston was honored by family and friends — including Tyler Perry, Mariah Carey, and Oprah Winfrey — at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church on Feb. 18. The emotional four-hour memorial service, which was streamed and broadcast live, featured musical tributes from Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and R. Kelly, and eulogies by mentor Clive Davis and former costar Kevin Costner. ”People didn’t just like you, Whitney,” recalled the Bodyguard actor. ”They loved you.” (Even a mini-controversy over the sudden departure of Houston’s ex, Bobby Brown, couldn’t distract from the event’s respectful, reflective vibe.) The superstar — whose cause of death remains unclear, pending toxicology results — was laid to rest the next day in a Westfield, N.J., cemetery. But not surprisingly, her music continues to inspire. Whitney: The Greatest Hits reentered the Billboard 200 at No. 6. And in the days following her shocking death at the age of 48, Houston’s singles were downloaded 887,000 times, led by ”I Will Always Love You,” the same song that played as her gold casket was carried out of the church.
Posted February 24 2012 — 12:00 AM EST
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