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Columbus remembered at Auckland funeral

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016

Friends and family of Ray Columbus have paid tribute to the 1960s rockstar with words and music.

Hundreds of people were at the funeral service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Auckland from 11am on Saturday.

Columbus, who died on Tuesday aged 74, was New Zealand's first real rock star and went on to manage and mentor many other singers.

Pallbearers carried the bright red casket into the church for a service where music mixed with memories.

Max Cryer spoke about Columbus's early life and how he was a fashionable teenager.

The hit She's a Mod by Ray Columbus and The Invaders, which made him a household name, was sung by his old friends and a young musician he mentored.

The Invaders attended, along with Suzanne Lynch and Frankie Stevens.

Lynch performed Wind Beneath My Wings.

"In an industry fraught with rivalry and broken promises, the name Ray Columbus stands for honesty and integrity," Cryer said.

Columbus passed peacefully at his home north of Auckland after being in poor health since suffering a heart attack in 2004. He had two strokes after that, in 2008 and 2012. He revealed mid-2013 that he was terminally ill.

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