natalie cole funeral (lionel richie)

Lionel Richie speaks at Natalie Cole funeral

*Going home services for Natalie Cole were held today in Los Angeles and R&B legends from Lionel Richie to Stevie Wonder turned out to say goodbye to her.

As EUR exclusively reported, the funeral was held at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ Cathedral in South Los Angeles on Crenshaw Blvd.

Inside the 5,000-seat church, a large photo of Cole accompanied her closed casket. Multiple large bouquets of white roses were pictured inside the church, reports USA Today.

The singer’s longtime music director and conductor, Gail Deadrick, who was coordinating the lineup for the services, said the day would focus on Cole’s legacy, which was built over four decades.
Natalie Cole

“Nobody knew this was going to happen,” Deadrick told the LA Times. “We mourn the fact that she’s gone. But we are celebrating.”

Deadrick declined to release a list, but said the performers, including some “noteworthy names” – were all friends of Cole. The songs were selected from Cole’s favorites, including gospel and jazz numbers, Deadrick said.

natalie cole funeral (smokey robinson1)

Smokey Robison addresses the audience at Natalie Cole’s funeral

Another one of the many celebs who came out to remember Cole was Smokey Robinson.

“I feel so blessed to have called you my friend, and my buddy, and many times my confidante,” said Smokey Robinson inside the church, according to “You are so real and down to Earth. Now I have to say you’re so real and up to heaven.”

Among those who attended the funeral included Rev. Jesse Jackson, Johnny Mathis, Robbie Yancy, producer David Foster and actors Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett.

As we reported, Cole, the daughter of singer Nat King Cole, died on New Year’s Eve at age 65 of pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure.

Natalie Cole will be buried next to her parents, sister and brother at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.

More Photos from Natalie’s funeral:

natalie cole funeral (casket & pallbearers)

Natalie’s casket and pallbearers

natalie cole funeral flowers

Flowers for Natalie

natalie cole funeral (courtney b vance & angela bassett)

Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett

natalie cole funeral (jesse jackson )

Jesse Jackson also spoke at the services

natalie cole funeral (stevie wonder)

Stevie Wonder and his harmonica tribute Natalie Cole

natalie cole funeral (smokey robinson)

Smokey Robinson speaks at Natalie Cole’s funeral