Feb. 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM ET
Whitney Houston was laid to rest Sunday in a private ceremony at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. She was buried next to her father, John Russell Houston, who was interred in 2003.
The singer passed away on Feb. 11 at age 48.
Fans and onlookers gathered in several places along the route the motorcade took from the Newark funeral home to the cemetery about 20 miles away. Many held signs wishing Houston farewell and some created impromptu memorials. Some even slowly ran alongside the hearse as it began the journey to Houston's gravesite. Several yelled out "We love you, Whitney" as the hearse, which had a black and white headshot of the star in a window, slowly drove away.
Barbara Davis, 53, of Newark, said she had been waiting outside the funeral home since 8:30 a.m., hoping to get a glimpse of Houston's final trip.
"To be here at her home-going is an honor and a blessing," Davis told The Star-Ledger of Newark.
Saturday's ceremony at the New Hope Baptist Church was attended by hundreds of invited friends and family -- many of them stars themselves. After all the testimonials from relatives and friends, the songs from legends and pop stars, the preaching and even laughter, the raw emotion of Whitney Houston's funeral came down to just one moment: The sound of her own voice.
As the strains of her biggest record, "I Will Always Love You," filled the New Hope Baptist Church at the end of the nearly four-hour service Saturday and her silver-and-gold casket was lifted in the air, the weight of the moment was too much for her mother to bear.
Gospel singer Cissy Houston wailed, "My baby! My baby!" as she was held up by two women and led out of the church behind her daughter's body.
A few steps behind her was the pop icon's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, also crying uncontrollably as she was comforted by Houston's close friend, singer Ray J.
It was the most searing scene on a day with mixed moods as family, friends and a list of celebrities — sometimes one and the same — came to the humble New Hope Baptist Church, where Whitney Houston first wowed a congregation, to remember one of music's legends, but also a New Jersey hometown girl.
Her death marked the end of a life of stunning achievement. Blessed with a voice of great power and beauty, Houston became one of pop music's most successful artists over a career that spanned nearly three decades and segued into film with hits like "The Bodyguard."
But her life was not without struggles. An addiction to drugs and a tumultuous union with ex-husband Bobby Brown saw her tumbling from grace.
An autopsy has been performed, but results will not be revealed until the completion of the toxicology report.
The Associated Press, NBCNewYork.com and TheWrap.com contributed to this report.