CHARLES REMEMBERED

Over a thousand people mourn the US star...

Over a thousand people including STEVIE WONDER, WILLIE NELSON and BB KING celebrated the life of RAY CHARLES at his funeral yesterday.

The singer, who died aged 73, was honoured at a two hour service at the First AME Church service in Los Angeles.

At the service, Wonder and King were amongst the live performers, watched by other stars of the US music industry including Little Richard, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr, and civil rights leader Jessie Jackson.

Jackson said: “Heaven wanted some music and God sent for Ray Charles … Ray, we can’t stop loving you – we choose not to – and we’ll see you in the morning.”

Elsewhere, wreaths were sent by stars including the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin.

Before being buried at the Inglewood Cemetery, Charles’ body was driven in a motorcade past his recording studio and offices.

Charles was blind from childhood, but took to music and soon established himself as a brilliant musician. He won a dozen Grammy Awards, mostly in the ‘60s. He is perhaps best known for songs like ‘Georgia On My Mind’ and ‘Hit The Road Jack’.