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[photogallerylink id=76748 align=left]Thanks to the presence of cameras in the New Hope Baptist Church, fans of the legendary Whitney Houston were able to attend today’s very personal celebration of the life of the superstar.

While there were rumblings of a disturbance with the exit of Bobby Brown, those of us peeking into the New Hope Baptist Church would have had no idea of that.  Instead, we were given an inside glimpse of a woman who was deeply loved by those she knew personally, and were allowed to witness that love poured forth in both words and song.

Introducing speakers and singers alike, Houston’s cousin, singer [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dionne Warwick[/lastfm] demonstrated incredible poise.  Among the speakers who seemed to resonate with the crowd in the church and the crowd at home were Houston’s friends and colleagues Tyler Perry and Kevin Costner.

Tyler Perry
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Kevin Costner
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Gospel music lovers were treated to amazing performances by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Donnie McClurkin[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bebe Winans[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kim Burrell[/lastfm] and others.  On the secular side, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder also gave moving performances.  Wonder rewrote the lyrics to his song Ribbon In The Sky especially for Whitney.

Stevie Wonder- Ribbon In The Sky
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Whether your were a super fan, or just appreciated the role that her music played in your life, you couldn’t help but be moved by the incredible testament to her life displayed today.  And if you made it through the services with a dry eye, you probably shed a tear or two as it came time for the recessional when the glorious voice of Whitney began to echo throughout the church, singing the song for which she will always be remembered (and a sentiment she would have surely given everyone in attendance today), I Will Always Love You.

Recessional Accompanied By I Will Always Love You
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