Bobby Brown (L) stands outside prior to the funeral services for Whitney Houston at the New Hope Baptist Church on February 18, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012. (Getty Images)more pics » Bobby Brown (Getty Images) Whitney Houston
's funeral Saturday lasted over three hours and was filled with heartbreaking, heartfelt reflections from those closest to the late star. The "home going" service included a full choir, performances by Stevie Wonder
and Alicia Keys
, a touching speech by Kevin Costner
, and a very brief appearance from Bobby Brown
, the music legend's ex-husband.
Brown was invited to Houston's funeral but decided to bring an entourage of nine people, which didn't fly when the group arrived at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Reports indicate Brown showed up and demanded the 10 of them be seated in the front row but got shut down. He was the only one allowed inside and apparently walked in, gave his respects, and opted to leave. Sources say he walked up to the casket with teary red eyes and promptly exited. "He was there for 15 minutes," the unnamed insider said (via Us
However, Brown paints a bit of a different scenario. "My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston," he explained. "We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions. I fail to understand why security treated my family this way and continue to ask us to move."
He said things got worse when he
tried to go over and talk to his daughter Bobbi Kristina. But, the singer said he tried to do the respectful thing. "In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene," he added. "My children are completely distraught over the events."
He also said: "This was a day to honor Whitney. I doubt Whitney would have wanted this to occur."
But, that little hiccup didn't hinder the lengthy services. Costner's speech was one of the
most personal and moving. He revealed intimate stories about his working relationship with the star, and how he hand-picked her to act alongside him in The Bodyguard
. "I was your pretend bodyguard not too long ago, and now you're gone," Costner said somberly.
The actor made the audience laugh at times with funny childhood stories about Houston wreaking havoc in church. He also brought tears to people's eyes as he recalled her grace and how much she loved her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown
also spoke from the bottom of her heart while fighting back tears before performing at the piano. Keys said: "She's an angel to us, and she's been an angel to us."Stevie Wonder
also performed after speaking about "having a little crush" on the music icon. Aretha Franklin
was slated to sing but had to cancel due to an illness
Watch Kevin Costner's speech here:
See more Bobby Brown pics here: