VIA (CNN) — About 300 mourners remembered legendary singer Etta James on Saturday as an authentic voice whose velvety vocals bridged genres from blues to rock.
Another legendary singer, Stevie Wonder, gave a musical tribute to James at her funeral: He played the electronic keyboard and sang his “Shelter in the Rain.” He then performed on the harmonica and sang The Lord’s Prayer.
The Rev. Al Sharpton presided over her funeral in southern California where she was raised, and he began the service by reading aloud a note from President Barack Obama, who said that James’ talents transcended genres.
Obama wrote that James will be remembered for her voice, Sharpton told family and friends at Greater Bethany Community Church City of Refuge in Gardena.
“I know she will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her,” the president’s note said, according to Sharpton.