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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Spanish star Jurado laid to rest
Rocio Jurado's coffin
Jurado's widower Jose Ortega Cano (l) was among the pallbearers
Spanish singing legend Rocio Jurado, who died of cancer on Thursday, has been buried in her home town of Chipiona, in southern Spain.

Mourners threw flowers and wept as her coffin, draped in the Andalusian and Spanish flags, was taken through the town to the local cemetery.

Dressed in black, friends and family walked behind it as onlookers clapped rhythmically in the flamenco style.

Jurado's husband, former bullfighter Jose Ortega Cano, was a pallbearer.

"Rocio was a woman who enjoyed life, who sang to live," said the Bishop of Jerez, Juan del Rio, speaking at the funeral mass at Chipiona's La Regla church.

More than 10,000 people went to the church, where the singer's body lay overnight, to pay their respects.

'Shining career'

Following the mass, the singer known as "la mas grande de Espana" (Spain's greatest) was buried in private with only her closest family present.

Jurado, a beloved figure in Spain and Latin America, died in Madrid in the early hours of Thursday morning after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Rocio Jurado pictured in 2001
Rocio Jurado recorded more than 30 albums during her career

Film director Pedro Almodovar and musician Emilio Estefan were among those who paid tribute at a wake in the Spanish capital.

The Spanish film-maker called her the "biggest voice in Spain" and "a generous, sincere and affectionate" woman.

Estefan called her "a great singer and a great person", adding that her story would be "difficult to forget".

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero expressed condolences to the family of a "great artist".

"There is a general feeling of sorrow and acknowledgment for a shining professional career," he said.

Born in September 1944, Jurado started her career singing flamenco before moving into film in the 1960s.

Over the course of her career she made more than 30 albums and performed on both sides of the Atlantic.


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