Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, & Stevie Wonder Perform at Whitney Houston’s Homegoing

Alicia Keys

Whitney Houston’s loved ones gathered to say farewell to the legendary singer they called “Nippy” at a private funeral in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday. Her fans across the world were able to view the homegoing service, which was broadcast globally from the New Hope Baptist Church, where Whitney grew up.

Following remembrances from her family and friends including Pastor Marvin Winans, Kevin Costner, Clive Davis, and cousin Dionne Warwick, some of music’s greatest voices performed emotional tributes to “The Voice” including Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Kim Burrell, and the Winans family.

Alicia Keys fought back tears as she shared memories of the woman she affectionately called Meema. “I feel like in so many ways, she reached back to so many people,” said Alicia, who sang “Send Me an Angel.” “She reached back to me, she reached back to Monica and Brandy and Jordin [Sparks] and all these beautiful young artists, and made us feel strong and capable and loved. She’s an angel to us and she’s been an angel to us. I think we’ve been sent an angel for a long time.”

Stevie Wonder personalized his classic “Ribbon in the Sky” for his dear friend. “This is such an emotional moment,” said Wonder. “I want to just stop and give all praise to God for just allowing me to be in life at the same time as Whitney.”

A visibly shaken R. Kelly performed “I Look to You,” the song he penned for Whitney’s 2009 album. “We love you, Whitney. Rest in peace,” he said.

Other celebrities paying their respects included Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Tyler Perry, Mariah Carey, L.A. Reid, Monica, Brandy, Ray J, and Diane Sawyer.

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32 Comments

  1. MRBIG

    Amazing service and fitting tribute for a brilliant woman.

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  2. joyce

    THE KEY MAY BE THE FACT THAT WHITNEY COMPLAINED ABOUT HER DRINKS BEING WATERED DOWN. THAT COULD GET SOMEONE FIRED. WAS SHE KILLED AS RETALIATION?
    PERSONALLY I HAVE BEEN POISONED. YES POISONED JUST FOR COMPLAINING ABOUT SERVICE IN BARS WHERE FOREIGN PEOPLE OWNED THEM AND SERVED ME. CARIBBEANS IN PARTICULAR. I DONT GO TO THEM ANY MORE.
    THIS MIGHT BE A RETALIATION FOR CONRAD MURRAY CONVICTION.
    WHAT’S TO STOP A WORKER FROM SPIKING WHITNEY FOOD AND DRINKS WITH EXTRA TABLETS, AND THEN SHE TOOK HER NORMAL DOSE UNKNOWINGLY. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE. PLEASE STAY ON THE CASE. AMERICAN HATERS HAVE INFILTRATED EVERY ASPECT OF AMERICAN LIFE, AND THEY ARE EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO KILL, STEAL AND DESTROY.

    BOBBY WAS THE LOVE OF WHITNEY LIFE – HER ONLY LOVE. SHE WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED RAYJ AND NOT HER BABY FATHER WELCOMED. NO MATTER WHAT HE DID, SHE LOVINGLY FORGAVE HIM. HE LOVED HER MADLY. THE PASSION THEY SHARED WAS MADE IN HEAVEN.

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  3. Shee

    Beyonce was there?

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    DIONNE Reply:

    @Shee, DOES IT MATTER IF BEYONCE WAS THERE OR NOT THIS AIN’T ABOUT HER THIS WAS ABOUT A LEGEND PASSINF FUCK BEYAWNCE

    [Reply]

    Real Issh Reply:

    @DIONNE, Bitch – don’t do a lot . Shee was asking a question . Although is doesn’t matter if Bey was there – u don’t have to be a hater .

    [Reply]

  4. Jammin'

    You can just tell that Alicia is just heartbroken over Whitey’s passing, but that fact that she carried on, regardless of how she sounded is just amazing. Love her.

    S/N: I know this isn’t relevant to the topic, but I am TIRED of people shading Alicia for choices she made in her personal life, I’m sick of it. People have forgiven Chris Brown for his mistakes, but they are still angry at Alicia. If (Black) people can forgive Chris for almost KILLING Rihanna, THROWING a chair out of a WINDOW and being immature on twitter, then they can SURELY forgive Alicia for what she did.

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    DeeJay Reply:

    @Jammin’, Normally don’t comment on other posts, but I agree with you!

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    Agreed Reply:

    @Jammin’, The people who still bring that up, obviously didn’t like a Alicia from the beginning. It’s irrelevant anyway when it comes to her talent.

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    Alicia's a homewrecka Reply:

    @Agreed, Not True…she is a homewrecka for life

    [Reply]

    Jammin' Reply:

    @Alicia’s a homewrecka, And you’re STUPID for life, BITCH!!!!

    [Reply]

    Phoenix_Wright Reply:

    @Jammin’, Chris Brown is still dealing wit a lot of people who bring up his past actions so I don’t know what you are talking about. Alicia’s problem is more on the low, it wasn’t broadcasted but yeah people still dog her out.

    There will always be haters even after Keys and Brown die. There will just be people who will never forgive them and that’s fine cause those people don’t even matter.

    [Reply]

  5. DeeJay

    The homegoing was fantasic!!

    [Reply]

  6. phucku

    Jesus showed up and showed out. A homegoing fit for a queen. No big Hollywood situation. Just good ol’ for the soul fulfillment. This funeral touched me and said some things I needed to hear also. “The Voice”. I love you and your music will live on forever.

    [Reply]

  7. Piers-Knightly

    Alicia has never sounded so raw and emotionial. Such a sad thing to make this song seem so true to her and even make the words speak so loud to her. Whitney will forever be remembered as a true icon and her music will never be limited to race, age or religion. Even as a 18 year old guy from the UK she has been a big part of my life and shaped my love for music. She is an icon and no one will ever take her place.

    [Reply]

  8. Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder & R. Kelly Perform At Whitney Houston’s Funeral

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  9. Hugh

    R Kelly was great

    [Reply]

  10. Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder & R. Kelly Perform At Whitney Houston’s Funeral | Hip hop music

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  11. Audrey Hepburn

    I know Alicia was hurt and distraught during her performance and I completely understand her pain … BUT those vocals were awful! She was practically screaming at the top of her lungs.

    And am I the only one that thought Kevin Costner saying “damn” in a church was bit disrespectful?

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, I didn’t even notice him saying that. I was so interested in his stories and what he was saying about Whitney, I guess it just slid right by. Maybe a lot of other people didn’t notice also.

    Alicia can do whatever she wants, she was invited to perform and perform she did and it was so so beautiful. I think her vocals were beautiful and inspiring with much much power. She is a beautiful lady in every way. Loved her performance because it was so real and definitely from the heart.

    [Reply]

    Audrey Hepburn Reply:

    @Karen, Actually, Alicia CAN’T do whatever she wants b/c it was not a funeral for one of her personal loved ones – she was, in fact an understudy.I am positive that Clive Davis had something to do with her performing in the first place, seeing as she was “discovered” by him some odd years ago.

    BTW, she was Aretha’s replacement and that was made very clear by the family members. It was a shame Ms. Franklin couldn’t attend. I would have preferred her over Screamin’ Keys. LOL.

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, Wrong again. It’s amazing how these things get started. It was said by someone at the tribute that Alicia was a replacement for Aretha but later it was cleared up and stated that wasn’t the case at all. Alicia had been invited to perform all along. Actually, Dionne even thought Aretha was still going to be there and anounced her AFTER Alicia sang. Btw, Ms Aretha had done a show the night before and was evidently having some kind of leg problems but still she was doing another show this same night. ???? She didn’t feel she should push herself to attend this tribute or take part.

    And, if you really want to get technical about it… OK. Alicia could scream, jump, yell, praise, sing, dance or whatever because she was the one invited to perform for Whitney and her family. They evidently know what kind of person she is much better than you. I am positive Whitney’s family invited exactly who they wanted to have at that tribute and it had nothing to do with what Clive Davis wanted. This was about Whitney and the people who loved her. If you can’t accept that Alicia was wanted there and if you don’t care for her singing, it really doesn’t matter because it wasn’t being done for you. You didn’t have to like it at all. Actually I don’t know why you’d even care.

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    Audrey Hepburn Reply:

    @Karen, Well, I am entitled to my opinion and I still think she was screaming recklessly with no vocal control. I thought it was a good thing for her to honor Whitney, but there are many vocally talented friends of Whitney that wouldn’t have shattered the windows of the church with their horrid vocals. Some examples being Kelly Price, Deborah Cox, Faith Evans, Monica, etc.

    AND I care because Whitney was and will forever be “The Voice.” Having someone screaming like they’re on fire at her homegoing service is not acceptable, I don’t care how much you want to defend Alicia. Her vocals were TERRIBLE. End of Story.

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, So it really doesn’t matter what you think. They wanted her there and she was there. And in my opinion she sang beautifully with all her heart. She wasn’t screaming recklessly and she did have vocal control. So what, there are many vocally talented friends of Whitney who YOU may think would have been better. Bottom line they didn’t think so and evidenly didn’t care because they had who they wanted and who Whitney wanted at the tribute. Oh and yes, I guess it was acceptable for Alicia to SING because that’s exactly what she did. Doesn’t matter what you want or what you thought would be better. Btw, I am defending my opinion just like you. I loved it, you didn’t. End of Story.

    Anita Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn, Under the circumstances I think her vocals were amazing. I think it would have been hard to speak at that time mcuh less sing. Alicia did a beautiful job. Much love and respect for her. It’s not about how great it was but just that she was there and paying tribute to a wonderful lady who she was very close to.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    @Audrey Hepburn,
    Alicia has the most beautiful voice. Very powerful and very heartfelt song. She can scream to the top of her lungs if she wants. It’s still beautiful. Shout it Alicia!

    [Reply]

  12. OneLove

    This was a beautiful and very pure, honest and inspiring service! ( IMO much better than MJ’s memorial which was a bit over the top but still beautiful).

    For Alicia, I am not even longer bothered by the comments about her personal life because you can say whatever you want to defend her, there will still be stupid and immature ppl to talk about what they don’t even know!
    BUT I am sick and tired of hearing the same old negative and FALSE comments about her voice and talent. Whoever went to one of her shows, KNOWS she CAN sing!! And come on!! She’s at a funeral, she’s saying goodbye to one of her closest friend and one of her biggest inspirations.. I wouldn’t be able to even finish the first verse of the song if it was me, and I don’t even know Whitney personally.. so just imagine for a second what she was going through. IMO she didn’t even give a crap of how her voice sounded like, she sang the song with her heart wide open, she was REAL and that is all that matters!!!

    [Reply]

  13. Cnd

    Powerfull soulfull vocal 4rm kelz i almost cried.

    [Reply]

  14. WednesdayAd

    Great service, took us all to church. That Winans Family, boooooy. And R.Kelly…Alicia isn’t known for her vocals but thanks.

    Did anyone catch Ray J touch the casket and break down as it was leaving?….Mmmm I wonder about him

    [Reply]

  15. rr

    wow i thought r kelly was going to cry that was emotional…..am going to miss her sooooo much but to me she is not dead cause she lives through her music and i will always listen to her songs always

    [Reply]

  16. Sonya

    Alicia is such a beautiful human being. That song and those beautiful words were so heartfelt and amazing.
    Like Whitney’s bodyguard said, people need to respect the entertainers more and stop the ridicule because they give so much of themselves to everyone. He also stated he knew that Whitney really loved the people and her friends. I am definitely in agreement, the ridicule needs to stop.

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  17. mary

    I did not feel Stevie,Alicia,Kim or Clive Davis were “there” for Whitney,they all “performed” for themselves,a flat mirror.On the other hand,the entire Winans family,Dionne,Kevin Costner and RKelly did speak,sing and preach from the true heart.I went to church today for the first time in years,the Houston family did put every viewer of Whitney’s farewell in church yesterday.

    [Reply]

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