Fans and friends pay tribute to the late soul legend...

A stirring memorial service for the late BARRY WHITE took place yesterday (July 7) in a park in downtown LOS ANGELES.

White, who grew up in nearby South Central, had lived in the city until he died.

Leimert Park saw over 100 fans and friends dancing and singing along to all of the star’s greatest hits, which blared out from a nearby vehicle. Najee Ali, a friend of White’s children and the organiser of Monday’s event, hailed the singer as a social activist who “wanted an end to gang violence, an end to poverty”.

The legendary soul singer, known as The Walrus Of Love, lost his battle with kidney disease last Friday (July 4). Mourners at the memorial service reminisced about how much White’s music had affected their lives. One fan, Yolanda Williams, 32, told Reuters, “Any time we heard Barry White, we knew we needed to stay out of the living room – that my parents were ‘having their time’!”.

In spite of the singing and dancing, the event was a deeply heartfelt one, taking a sober turn as Mohammed Mubarak, a friend of White’s, read a verse from the Koran in both Arabic and English followed by a prayer. Although White himself was not religious, Mubarak followed the reading by saying, “He truly was the maestro of love. We ask that you will open up the doors of Heaven, and allow him to rest in peace in Heaven forever, and forgive him of all of his sins and have mercy on him on his day of judgement.”