LATEST: Buena Vista Social Club star Ibrahim Ferrer was buried yesterday (08AUG05) in his native Havana, Cuba.

The 78-year-old Cuban singer died on Saturday (06AUG05) just days after ending a tour in Europe and checking into hospital with gastroenteritis symptoms.

Recordings of Ferrer's hits were played at his funeral at the Colon cemetery, which was attended by more than 200 friends, family, Cuban officials and fellow musicians.

Buena Vista Social Club guitarist MANUEL GALVAN says, "We have lost something glorious.

"Ibrahim had the same voice he had when we listened to him in his youth. I don't know how he was able to conserve his voice so clear like that, so clear."

Ferrer's musician pal JUAN DE MARCOS adds, "Ibrahim was always a shy guy. He never wanted to be in front of the band. He thought that the proper place for him was in the back of the band because he never was in the front of any band in his life."

Ferrer's death follows that of key BVSC bandmates Compay Segundo and Ruben Gonzalez, who died in 2003.

The group shot to fame in the late 1990s, after recording with US guitarist Ry Cooder and starring in director Wim Wenders' hit 1999 documentary, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB.