Stevie Wonder was one of the artists who gave a heartfelt tribute to Whitney Houston on Saturday, February 18 at the New Hope Baptist church in New Jersey. Stevie sang two songs, one of them he claimed being Whitney's favorite.
"It's such an emotional moment, I want to stop and thank God to just allow me to be in life in the same time as Whitney," Wonder said. "To all the family, I want you to know... throughout her career we love her so much." He also joked that in some imagination, he had a crush on her.
The performance was followed by a speech from Whitney's sister-in-law and former manager, Patricia Houston, who represented the family. "Today we as family celebrate the life of our daughter, sister and friend. ...A life sometime misunderstood, even by herself," Patricia said.
Patricia went blatant in her speech, saying Whitney was always trying her best even when people were mean to her. She went on thanking people in Whitney's life including her "industry father" Clive Davis, her label Arista, her international fans, lawyers, agents and others. "Never regretting the moment sharing her music," Patricia said.
The sister-in-law also recalled the last moment she had with Whitney. She was having a lunch with Whitney at the Beverly Hilton hotel, when the singer expressed a concern about an information about her. Patricia advised her to live her by her rules now that she is in her 50s. "We will see her again, but until then she rests in peace in heaven," Patricia said.
R. Kelly then took over with a performance of "I Look to You", Whitney's celebrated 2009 single which was produced by him. Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick, who has been the funeral's host, shared a few words of her own. Her message was, "He set me free". CeCe Winans, who made a duet with Whitney in 1996, sang "Don't Cry for Me". The funeral was closed with a remark from producer Rickey Minor and an eulogy by Rev. Marvin Winans.