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Funeral service for rapper Biz Markie held in New York

·1-min read
A man stands guard next to the casket for late rapper Marcel Theo Hall, known by his stage name Biz Markie, during the funeral service in Patchogue, New York

(Reuters) - A funeral for rapper Biz Markie was held on Monday after the hip-hop personality known for his 1989 hit "Just a Friend" died in July.

Fans gathered outside the Patchogue Theatre on Long Island in New York during the service for the pioneering beatboxer whose birth name was Marcel Theo Hall. He was born in Harlem and raised in Patchogue.

Police put up barricades to hold crowds on the sidewalks and keep the street in front of the theater clear.

Media reports said a private viewing for the family was followed by a live-streamed service. The Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted that he was to deliver the eulogy. "May his legacy live on," the civil rights leader said on Twitter.

Hip-hop performers LL Cool J, Fat Joe and Big Daddy Kane were set to attend, media reports said.

Markie died on July 16 aged 57 of complications from diabetes.

(Writing by Cynthia Osterman; Editing by Richard Chang)

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