Bobbi Kristina Brown funeral held at church near Atlanta
Daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston died last weekend while in hospice care
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of Whitney Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown, was born and raised in the shadow of her famous parents' hugely public life.
She appeared alongside the couple in 2005 on the Bravo reality show Being Bobby Brown, which showed her parents fighting, swearing and making court appearances. She attended award shows with her mother and father, walked red carpets with them and sang in Central Park with Houston as adoring fans watched.
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But the 22-year-old woman whose parents freely shared her childhood with the public is being remembered in a private service, whose details have been closely guarded by the Brown and Houston families, their lawyers and their friends, including filmmaker Tyler Perry.
The service began around 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday at St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta. At 9:20 a.m., a hearse carrying the young woman's coffin arrived at the church ahead of the service. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among the mourners seen entering the church.
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Bobbi Kristina, who dreamed of growing up to achieve fame like her mother, died in hospice care July 26, about six months after she was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub in her suburban Atlanta townhome. For Houston fans, the scene was grimly similar to the way her megastar mother had died three years earlier.
She was found in the townhome she shared with Nick Gordon, an orphan three years older, whom Houston had raised as her own. Bobbi Kristina referred to him as her husband. A police report earlier this year described the incident as a drowning, and authorities are investigating her death.
In a statement after her death, Brown said the family must find a way to honour his daughter's memory.
"Krissy was and is an angel," he said. "I am completely numb at this time. My family must find a way to live with her in spirit and honour her memory. Our loss is unimaginable."
Bobbi Kristina was the sole heir of her mother's estate. She identified herself on Twitter as "Daughter of Queen WH," "Entertainer/Actress" with William Morris & Co., and "LAST of a dying breed." She told Oprah Winfrey shortly after her mother's death in 2012 that she wanted to carry on Houston's legacy by singing, acting and dancing. But her career never took off.
In her short life, Bobbi Kristina became a social media sensation, sending more than 11,000 tweets and attracting 164,000 followers.