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Soulful R&B Singer Barry White Dies at 58

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Los Angeles

Barry White, the R&B crooner who set the romantic mood for millions in the 1970’s and beyond, passed away Friday morning at the age of 58. He was taken to the hospital in May after suffering a stroke and about two months later on July 5, 2003 at Cedars Sinai Hospital, in Los Angeles.

White had been on dialysis, but was still doing some studio work. At the height of his popularity in the early 1970’s with hits like, “Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” White was not only a great singer, but wrote and produced his songs as well.

White also served as the Grand Marshal of the San Bernardino Black History Month Parade.

Eight children survive White, who was married and divorced twice.

A public memorial for R&B White has been planned for early August, his family announced this week.

The event will combine a celebration of the singer's life with the dedication of a public recreation center in his name. The exact date has not been set.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters stated on White’s passing: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Barry White and I extend my condolences to his family, his friends and fans all over the world who are also mourning his loss.

“Certainly Barry will be remembered for his musical genius and the beautiful music he created and performed. However, he will also be remembered as a generous, kind, caring human being. He was always there for the community he came from and loved.

“Just a few months ago, residents of the South Park neighborhood where Barry grew up called upon him to help save the park when it was in danger of being appropriated by the LAUSD to build a new school.

Barry got out of his sickbed to come to South Park to lend his voice to their effort to keep the park—one of the few open spaces for recreation and an historic site in South Los Angeles. Barry was one of several other well-known entertainers who grew up in that community and used South Park as a recreational area.

“Barry White started his musical career in the South Park community and his talent carried him to legendary status in the recording industry. Barry will live on in the millions of hearts and minds his music touched around the world. His talent was unmatched.

“Barry’s passing leaves an empty place in my heart. I loved him dearly and I will always miss him.

“He was my friend,” Waters concluded.

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