Kevin Costner Defends Extended Eulogy for Whitney Houston

Exploring Kevin Costner's Emotional Reflections on Whitney Houston.

by Nouman Rasool
Kevin Costner Defends Extended Eulogy for Whitney Houston
© RRG/YouTube

Kevin Costner appeared on Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast to share some touching memories of standing with and for Whitney Houston, who passed away in 2012, especially during her funeral. The actor disclosed that he had stood his ground over cutting his eulogy to the late singer due to time limitations for the broadcast, insisting that he needed to do it as it should for the respect of his friend.

At the funeral, held after Houston's tragic accidental drowning, Costner was one of eight speakers chosen due to their close bond, formed during their work on the 1992 romantic drama The Bodyguard. In the film, Houston played a famous singer under threat from a stalker, while Costner portrayed her protective bodyguard.

Their on-screen chemistry mirrored an off-screen friendship that spanned over two decades, solidifying a bond that Costner deeply cherished. During his podcast interview, Costner recounted the daunting task of speaking about Houston, a responsibility he initially hesitated to accept until singer Dionne Warwick persuaded him.

When he finally took the podium, the emotional weight was palpable. "What am I going to say about this little girl?" Costner pondered, recalling the vibrant atmosphere of the church in Newark, filled with music and an electric energy that he described as booming.

Costner's Heartfelt Tribute

Costner's 17-minute speech was a heartfelt tribute to Houston as a phenomenal artist and a cherished friend. He commented on her enormous contribution as part of the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, where not only her legendary performance was included, based on the classic by Dolly Parton, "I Will Always Love You," but also the piece won her a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1994.

This track and others from the soundtrack played a massive part in impacting musical history and forever leaving its mark on their careers. Reflecting on the impact of their collaboration, Costner noted, "She sang the first part of it a cappella and musically the world was never the same." He praised the power of cinema to immortalize moments like these, underscoring the lasting memory of Houston's performance, which continues to resonate with fans worldwide.

This point is perhaps most evidently illustrated in Costner's dedication to preserving Houston's memory and his refusal to cut his eulogy short. It's a reminder of the profound connections forged through art—or friendship, for that matter—making the point almost timeless and impacting those who realize its import.

Kevin Costner