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Stars turn out in a big way to honor Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole’s famous friends came to celebrate her life at her funeral on Monday, Jan. 11.

Natalie Cole’s life and legendary career was celebrated by her famous friends on Monday, Jan. 11. Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, David Foster, Angela Bassett and Rev. Jesse Jackson attended the nearly three-hour memorial service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles.

More: Natalie Cole, legendary singer, has died at 65

Cole, who was the daughter of Nat King Cole and also a nine-time Grammy winner, died on New Year’s Eve from heart failure. She was 65.

“We must continue the spirit and kindness that this woman gave the world,” Wonder told the crowd, according to the Associated Press. “She left this country where people are so divided. We speak of love but we don’t do love. We’ve got a lot of work to do, Natalie, and we will do it in the spirit of you.” He also sang.

Richie also spoke at the funeral, telling the crowd: “I will always remember her laughter, her humor, her silliness, that voice and more importantly her friendship. There were many moments she was down and she picked me up.”

More: Lionel Richie wrote his hit track “Lady” on the loo

“I feel so blessed to have called you my friend, and my buddy, and many times my confidante,” Robinson said, according to CBS LA. “You are so real and down to Earth. Now I have to say you’re so real and up to heaven.”

Cole’s son Robbie and sisters Timolin and Casey also spoke at the funeral, which was presided over by the Rev. Melvin V. Wade, Cole’s rep shared with People.

“What a woman,” Robbie said after carrying his mother’s Bible to the podium. “She taught me how to love. She had my back every time when I needed it. The greatest gift she ever gave me was Jesus. I cannot wait until that day that I see you again.”

More: Stevie Wonder welcomes his ninth child: Meet all of his baby mamas

Rest in peace, Natalie Cole. You will always be unforgettable.

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