By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Singer Ray J publicly broke down during Whitney Houston’s funeral earlier today. As the casket was being somberly walked out of New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, Ray was seen reaching out to touch it and then emotionally tearing up. Others in the church to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Houston include her musical mentor Clive Davis, her Bodyguard costar Kevin Costner and a myriad of singers from Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder to the Winans family.
Ray J and Whitney had an on-and-off again relationship–which many rumored to be romantic– that started years ago. Most recently, the duo was seen together in Los Angeles dining at Le Petit Four on Sunset Boulevard on February 3rd. In a show of chivalry, Ray J opened the door for Whitney and made sure she was safely inside the car before shutting the door for her.
The “One Wish” singer released a statement yesterday before the funeral sharing his grief over Houston’s passing. “Over the past few days I’ve tried to process the emptiness that I am experiencing. What my heart feels cannot be expressed in words. The world lost an icon but I lost my close friend. Nippy I miss you so much! You were so happy and full of love. Your smile will live in my heart forever.”
The 48-year-old music icon died on February 11, a day before the Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles. She is expected to be buried on Sunday. (The official cause of death has not yet been confirmed.)