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Thousands of fans mourned Heavy D's passing at a public memorial on Thursday (17Nov11) and celebrities from the worlds of hip-hop and Hollywood gathered in Mount Vermont on Friday to bid farewell to the star.

Combs delivered a touching eulogy at the ceremony and remembered how Heavy D had given him his first big break in the music industry, telling mourners at Grace Baptist Church, "(Heavy D) was the first person to believe in me."

President Barack Obama also marked the loss of the rap legend by sending the late star's 11-year-old daughter, Xea Myers, a note of condolence, which was read out at the service by Reverend Al Sharpton.

In the message, Obama said: "We extend our heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music. Please know that you and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers."

Other guests at the funeral included rap mogul Russell Simmons, actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Rosie Perez, and singers Usher, John Legend and Johnny Gill, who performed at the ceremony.

Taking to Twitter.com after the service, actor Jackson wrote, "Just leaving Heavy D's Celebration of Life! Awesome!!! That Muhf**ka (sic) was LOVED!"

And Simmons admitted the sad memorial had moved him to tears, tweeting: "reading texts sent from heavys (sic) funeral. I never cry @ funerals but I'm crying now. Heavy D".