Hundreds gather for Bo Diddley's funeral

Guitarist given emotional, musical send-off

Bo Diddley
Friends and family paid tribute to Bo Diddley at his funeral in Florida yesterday (June 7).

The guitarist – hailed as one of the founding fathers of rock'n'roll – was given a rocking send-off in Florida.

His music was played by a gospel band, and as the coffin passed through, hundreds of mourners clapped and chanted his seminal song 'Hey Bo Diddley'.

BBC News reports that stars including Tom Petty and Jerry Lee Lewis sent floral tributes, while Eric Burden from The Animals was there to pay tribute, saying: "I've been a fan of his since I was 16, 17 years of age. (His) was probably one of the first records I ever owned."

Addressing the mourners, grandson Gary Mitchell said: “In 1955 he used to keep the crowds rocking and rolling way before Elvis Presley.”

His manager Faith Fusillo told the family: "Please know this, because I know Diddley. As much as you loved him, he loved you more."

Diddley died of heart failure last week, aged 79.

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