Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Sunday, 8 June 2008 11:32 UK

Bo Diddley given rocking send-off

Bo Diddley's funeral
The singer and guitarist's life and music were remembered

Music pioneer Bo Diddley has been given a rocking send-off, with family, fans and friends singing, dancing and paying tribute at his funeral in Florida.

A gospel band played his music as family members passed his coffin, before hundreds of mourners clapped and chanted his song Hey, Bo Diddley.

Singer Eric Burdon of The Animals paid tribute, while George Thorogood, Tom Petty and Jerry Lee Lewis sent flowers.

Diddley, regarded as one of the fathers of rock 'n' roll, died on Monday.

The 79-year-old suffered heart failure, which followed a recent stroke and heart attack.

Bo Diddley funeral
A floral tribute was delivered in the shape of Diddley's square guitar

His grandson Garry Mitchell was among those who addressed mourners, the Associated Press news agency reported.

"In 1955 he used to keep the crowds rocking and rolling way before Elvis Presley," he said.

Many mourners recounted Diddley's generosity and charity work.

The guitarist's brother, the Rev Kenneth Haynes, said Diddley would always ask how he could help and what he could give, but that he grew weary of life on the road.

He recalled Diddley saying: "But this is what God gave me to feed my family. I have to keep doing it until God says it's enough."

Bo Diddley
Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

The guitarist's business manager Faith Fusillo told his family: "Please know this, because I know Diddley. As much as you loved him, he loved you more."

Burdon praised Diddley's energy and influential signature rhythm. "I've been a fan of his since 16, 17 years of age," he said. "Probably one of the first records I ever owned."

The funeral was followed by a concert featuring Diddley's touring band and other musicians.

When Diddley passed away, tributes flooded in from many of music's biggest names, including Sir Mick Jagger, Robert Plant and BB King.

Jagger described him as an "enormous force in music" and "a big influence on the Rolling Stones".

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Archive footage of Bo Diddley performing




SEE ALSO
Jagger pays tribute to Bo Diddley
03 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Diddley 'changed face of music'
03 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Bo Diddley
02 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Musician Bo Diddley dies aged 79
02 Jun 08 |  Entertainment

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