Hundreds Pay Respects to Koko Taylor

By Natalie Martinez and BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Jun 12, 2009  |  Updated 8:14 PM CDT
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2009 in Memoriam

AP

Mourners file past the coffin of Koko Taylor at Operation PUSH Headquarters on Thursday. Taylor, Queen of the Blues, died last week at the age of 80.

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Photos and Videos

Friends Sing Farewell to Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor's memorial service was a celebration of her life and music, complete with performances and dancing by her many friends.

Hundreds Turn Out for Koko Taylor's Wake

Mourners packed Rainbow/Push Headquarters Thursday to celebrate the life of the "Queen of Blues."
More Photos and Videos

Mourners lined up Friday to attend funeral services for the "Queen of Blues" Koko Taylor, who passed away last week. 

This comes one night after hundreds turned out for a visitation service held to remember the star.  Family, friends and admirers processed by Taylor's casket to pay her their last respects.

Taylor was dressed in silk and crowned with a tiara.

In attendance at the visitation were Mayor Richard Daley and musicians Denise Williams, Otis Clay and Liz Mandeville.

Daley told the crowd Taylor's legacy will live on because of the power of her life story.

"You really haven't lost her," Daley said.

"She opened a lot of doors for all of us women who followed in the blues," said blues singer Mandeville said.

Those paying respects celebrated Taylor's life, rather than her passing.

"It's tough to get out of what she came out of, and to go from the depths to the heights is her journey, and there was some curves in between, but somehow she made it," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Musicians in town for this weekend's Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, gathered for a tribute to Taylor Thursday night. 

Taylor's daughter introduced the singer's "band family" on stage, those that helped the Grammy-winning singers make "Wang Dang Doodle" a song that everybody knows.

The sharecropper's daughter's career stretched more than five decades. She died June 3 at age 80 about two weeks after having surgery because of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Her funeral will be held on Friday.

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