The Washington Post

Whitney Houston funeral: Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder perform; Aretha Franklin cancels

View Photo Gallery: The service, which lasted more than three hours, was at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, the singer’s childhood place of worship.

Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, R. Kelly and other musicians paid tribute Saturday to Whitney Houston through song at the singer’s funeral.

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was scheduled to perform but was forced to cancel due to health issues with her legs and feet.

Keys sat down at the New Baptist Hope Church’s piano and wiped tears from her eyes. The singer called Houston an “angel”: “She just crept into everybody's heart.” Keys sang “Prelude to a Kiss.” Watch the performance below.

Wonder also performed, telling Houston’s mother, Cissy, her cousin Dionne Warwick and the rest of her family that the world won’t stop loving Houston. Wonder sang two of his songs: “Ribbon in the Sky,” with lyrics tailored for the occasion, and “Love’s in Need of Love Today.” Watch the performance below.

R. Kelly, the Rev. Donnie McClurkin, the Rev. Kim Burrell, BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans also performed.

Fittingly, Houston’s voice closed the service. As the singer’s casket was taken from the church, her rendition of “I Will Always Love You” played.

Related content:

Tyler Perry, Clive Davis speak at Houston’s funeral

Kevin Costner remembers Whitney Houston

Movie, music stars mourn Houston in hometown funeral

Bobby Brown briefly appears at funeral


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