Alicia Keys stepped up with aplomb to replace the ill Aretha Franklin and pay tribute to the late Whitney Houston in both song and word at the weekend, as a star-studded funeral was held in Newark, New Jersey for the late pop star.
The Inquistr reports that it was to be Franklin, Houston's godmother, who was to perform 'Send Me An Angel' but she unfortunately had to drop out, Keys taking her place. She acquitted herself among the other performers including Stevie Wonder, R Kelly, Bebe and Cece Winans, Donnie MCclurkin and Kim Burrell. Speaking during the service, the 31 year-old described her as "an angel," commenting "She reached back to so many people; she reached back to me, to Monica and Brandy . all these beautiful young artists, and just made us feel strong and capable and loved. So she's an angel to us, and has been an angel to us."
Keys shared a certain kind of kinship with Houston, having been another talent discovered by mentor Clive Davis and going on to write the song 'Million Dollar Bill' that appeared on Houston's last album. Among the other touching moments at the funeral was a heartfelt eulogy written and expressed by Kevin Costner, who starred opposite Houston in the film 'Bodyguard.'