Alicia Keys paid tribute to black radio pioneer Hal Jackson on Thursday (31May12) as she addressed mourners at his funeral in Harlem, New York.
Friends and family gathered at Riverside Church to pay their respects to the iconic DJ, who passed away last week (23May12) at the age of 97, and Keys was among the speakers at the service.
She told attendees, "I'm sorry for our loss, but I'm grateful for his life."
The R&B superstar revealed Jackson had been the very first DJ to play her debut single Fallin' on the radio and she was ecstatic when it happened: "I wanted the whole neighborhood to hear it. This was my song on the radio, and Hal Jackson played it first."
The memorial service also featured a tribute by civil rights leader-turned-political pundit Reverend Al Sharpton and performances by singers Valerie Simpson, Melba Moore and Alyson Williams.