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Whitney Houston remembered at hometown funeral

The biggest names in entertainment swayed to gospel hymns at Whitney Houston's hometown funeral Saturday in the church where the future pop star once sang as a young girl.

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A fan cries as she watches the funeral service of the late singer Whitney Houston at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, on television in New Jersey Saturday February 18, 2012.

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

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The biggest names in entertainment clapped hands, swayed to gospel hymns and sang along with the choir at Whitney Houston's hometown funeral Saturday in the church where the future pop star once wowed the congregation as a young girl.

"We are here today, hearts broken but yet with God's strength we celebrate the life of Whitney Houston," the Rev. Joe A. Carter told the packed New Hope Baptist Church after the choir behind him sang "The Lord is My Shepherd."

Mourners including singer Jennifer Hudson and Houston's mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, stood, swayed and clapped along in the aisles. Gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans and the Rev. Kim Burrell joined with pop stars like Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and R. Kelly in paying tribute to the 48-year-old pop superstar who first began singing in the Newark church.

"You wait for a voice like that for a lifetime," said music mogul Clive Davis, who shepherded Houston's career for decades.

IN PICTURES: Whitney Houston, in memoriam

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