June 18, 2004 12:46


And the star's funeral is expected to be a star-studded affair...

Thousands of fans paid their last respects to the late RAY CHARLES yesterday (June 17), with over 1,200 people expected to attend his funeral today.

The body of the musician was placed in an open coffin in the Los Angeles Convention Centre by the request of his family as a final tribute to his fans, reports the BBC.

The coffin was placed next to a black grand piano. Fans paid their respects to him, filing past the coffin, and signing the condolence book or a huge poster of Charles in performance.

A trademark silver and black jacket belonging to Charles was placed on the piano seat.

As previously reported Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson and BB King, will pay musical tribute to Charles at his funeral later today.

Other guests expected to attend include Producer Quincy Jones, former US president Bill Clinton and comedian Bill Cosby.

Charles died aged 73 last week. He died at home in Beverly Hills, and was suffering from liver disease.

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