Jesse Jackson at Houston funeral

February 19, 2012 4:58:53 AM PST
Among those at the altar for the funeral of Whitney Houston was the Rev. Jesse Jackson of Chicago.

He did not speak but sat in a prominent position near the speakers podium throughout the service.

The Rainbow PUSH founder has known Whitney Houston since she began singing in the New Hope Church Choir.

ABC7 spoke to Jackson by phone. he says her death leaves a void in the world of music.

"Well it was a highly spiritual celebration, a kind of mix of joy and pain, shine and rain so to speak," Jackson said. "She was about this time a week ago so very fresh in our memories It's a rather sudden loss of Whitney, when she was in a kind of recovery."

"I just look forward to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and her father, and her grandmother working together and giving her some source of balance, because she's undergoing a lot of pain."