The life and music of Barry White was celebrated amongst a hundred of his fans and friends in Los Angeles yesterday (07JUL03) - three days after the soul icon lost his battle with kidney disease.

The all-ages black crowd danced and sang at the candlelight vigil in downtown LEIMERT PARK, in tribute to a native son who never forgot his humble roots.

White, who was 58 when he died, grew up in nearby south-central Los Angeles, and occasionally got into trouble with the law before becoming one of the biggest soul stars of the 1970s.

He remained active in community affairs, and even sponsored local childrens' baseball teams.

YOLANDA WILLIAMS, a 32-year-old fan carrying a home-made banner, said, "Any time we heard Barry White, we knew we needed to stay out of the living room, that (my parents) were having their time."

The LET THE MUSIC PLAY star's pal MOHAMMED MUBARAK led a prayer, saying, "He truly was the maestro of love. We ask that you will open up the doors of heaven, and allow him to rest in peace in heaven forever, and forgive him of all of his sins and have mercy on him on his day of judgment."

08/07/2003 09:36