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Thursday
Apr112019

Stevie Wonder performs Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" at memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images via ABCThe life of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was celebrated on Thursday during a public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Among the artists who were on hand to pay tribute to the hip-hop star and local activist during the jam-packed service was Stevie Wonder.

Wonder gave a brief speech before delivering the final performance before the service concluded. The legendary singer called Nipsey's death "a heartbreak," and noted, "In his short life he was able to motivate people. I hope that we just don't talk about it, we be about it and make a difference."

Wonder then performed "Rocket Love," which he said he'd heard was Nipsey's favorite song of his. He then segued into an impromptu performance of Eric Clapton's heartbreaking 1992 ballad "Tears in Heaven," which Clapton wrote after the death of his four-year-old son Conor in a tragic accident.

The service also featured remarks by Snoop Dogg, and the reading of a letter from President Barack Obama.

Hussle was shot and killed on March 31 in front of his Marathon Clothing store in L.A. He will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery.  His accused killer, 29-year-old Eric Holder, has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He's pleaded not guilty; bail has been set at $5 million.

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