Longtime manager Lupe De Leon tells ESSENCE.com a public viewing will be held at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California, this Friday, January 27, from 5pm to 10pm. James will be buried in a private ceremony officiated by Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday, January 28, three days after what would have been her 74th birthday.
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Since her death from complications from leukemia last week, De Leon says the family has been truly touched by the outpouring of support from fans and celebrities like Bill Cosby, Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder. “It’s just been overwhelming for us,” he says. “We’ve had so many calls. Her husband [Artis Mills] and I still have to go through her voicemails to find out who else has called.”
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In James’ memory, De Leon adds that her family would like any contributions in her name be sent to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “preserve Rhythm and Blues.”