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Lou Rawls remembered in Los Angeles

Jan. 13, 2006 at 7:57 PM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Lou Rawls was remembered with music and laughter during his 2 1/2 hour funeral Friday at the West Angeles Church of Christ in Los Angeles.

Rawls died Jan. 6 of lung cancer. The program listed his age as 72, although other records indicate he was 70, KABC-TV, Los Angeles reported.

Among the stars at the service led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson were Little Richard, Angela Bassett, Louis Gossett Jr. and David Hasselhoff.

Stevie Wonder, Andre Crouch, Della Reese, Willie Rogers of The Soul Stirrers gospel quartet and Joan Baez each led the hundreds of mourners in song.

"We're going to miss his love because it was real, it's pure," Wonder said. "We got you, Lou. We got you forever and always."

Jackson said Rawls was "authentic, an original, a source of light in dark places."

Rawls, who never went to college, raised more than $200 million for the United Negro College Fund with 27 years of telethons.

In his honor, UNCF President and CEO Michael Lomax announced a Lou Rawls lifetime achievement award to be presented to an artist during next year's telethon.

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