Friends and family gathered at a church in Harlem, New York, to remember rapper ODB (Ol'Dirty Bastard) on Wednesday.
ODB was used to living his life in the spotlight
The 35-year-old collapsed and died at a Manhattan recording studio on Sunday after complaining of chest pains.
The rapper, whose best-known song was Got Your Money, was dead before paramedics could reach him. The cause of death remains undetermined.
ODB, who would have been 36 years old on Monday, was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 1990s.
"He just loved life," said his father, William Jones who had last spoken to his son, born Russell Jones, about three weeks ago.
Jones' wife, Icelene, sat in the front pew of St James Presbyterian Church surrounded by friends and family. Fans gathered outside the church.
"He was a true artist and he also dealt with a lot of pain in his life," said Damon Dash, founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, who attended Wednesday's service.
While the cause of death is not clear, in 2001 ODB completed a jail sentence for possessing drugs.
A prison term was also imposed on the rap artist for escaping a rehabilitation clinic.
ODB's most famous song was Got Your Money
After working with the Wu-Tang Clan, ODB released several singles which were hits in the US, and worked with a variety of artists including Mariah
Got Your Money, which featured Kelis, was a hit in the UK back in 2000.
Over the years he was involved in several shootings and was arrested on a variety of charges, including shoplifting, drug offences and threatening a former girlfriend.
He had been working on a comeback album, which was nearly finished when he died.
ODB joins a string of rap stars who have met untimely deaths, including Tupac Shakur, who was shot dead in 1996.