Whitney Houston learned how to sing at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Cissy, was the longtime minister of music. And after she died in 2012, the church hosted her home going service. Her cousin Dionne Warwick hosted the invitation-only ceremony, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, R. Kelly and others sang, and Kevin Costner and Clive Davis were among those who spoke about her. Millions of people watched the ceremony live on television and on the internet.
Below is a video of one of the most deeply emotional moments of the event: Keys’ “Send Me an Angel” (originally titled “Prelude to a Kiss” on Keys’ 2007 As I Am album, but retitled on the 2010 Hope for Haiti Now compilation). At the end of the song, Keys, who was a friend of Houston, adds some words, singing:
“Whitney’s an angel … and, oh, we never gonna forget you .. . we never gonna forget what you’ve done for us … the way you loved us so good, and so strong, and you showed us how to get along … so glad you’re home … thank you for guiding me, and now we send you home, our angel.”
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.