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The Latest: Family and friends pack service for Chuck Berry

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/9/2017
Close friend Joe Edwards slowly walks past the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry as he enters at the start of Berry's celebration of life Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Close friend Joe Edwards slowly walks past the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry as he enters at the start of Berry's celebration of life Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the public viewing and private service honoring rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry (all times local):

Family and friends slowly walk past the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry at the start of his celebration of life Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Family and friends slowly walk past the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry at the start of his celebration of life Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

3 p.m.

FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2009 file photo, Chuck Berry performs at The Domino Effect, a tribute concert to New Orleans rock and roll musician Fats Domino, at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2009 file photo, Chuck Berry performs at The Domino Effect, a tribute concert to New Orleans rock and roll musician Fats Domino, at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Music legend Chuck Berry was remembered by friends and fellow musicians at his funeral Sunday.

Alan Bozich, left, holds up his phone to watch a video of Chuck Berry as he stands in line with Jimmy Herrmann, right, to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend during Berry's public viewing Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Alan Bozich, left, holds up his phone to watch a video of Chuck Berry as he stands in line with Jimmy Herrmann, right, to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend during Berry's public viewing Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

People who played and worked with Berry as he built a career on hit songs such as "Johnny B. Goode" spoke emotionally about the 90-year-old who died last month.

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2007, file photo, legendary U.S. musician Chuck Berry performs on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18, 2017, at age 90. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2007, file photo, legendary U.S. musician Chuck Berry performs on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday, April 9, 2017, at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18, 2017, at age 90. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, File)

Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss was among the crowd Sunday. He wasn't scheduled to speak but someone urged him to take the podium.

Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Fans stand in line for a chance to pay their respects to the rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry during a public viewing ahead of his celebration of life and private burial Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Simmons said Berry had a tremendous influence on him as a musician, and he worked to break down racial barriers through his music.

Family and friends pass by the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry at the start of his celebration of life private service, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press Family and friends pass by the casket of rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry at the start of his celebration of life private service, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Former President Bill Clinton sent a letter that was read at the funeral by U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Clinton called Berry "one of America's greatest rock and roll pioneers."

A woman holds a program outside The Pageant, a concert venue where a celebration of life is set to start for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry and where Berry often performed, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) © The Associated Press A woman holds a program outside The Pageant, a concert venue where a celebration of life is set to start for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry and where Berry often performed, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in St. Louis. The man behind such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" died on March 18 at the age of 90. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Berry played at both of Clinton's presidential inaugurations.

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1:50 p.m.

A private funeral service and celebration for music legend Chuck Berry has begun, with mourners slowly walking past his open casket.

Family and friends of the rock 'n' roll legend have filled the St. Louis music club where Sunday's private service is being held. Berry died last month at age 90.

Hundreds of fans filed through the club earlier Sunday to pay their final respects to Berry, whose beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin lid.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rev. Alex I. Peterson told those at the private service that they would celebrate Berry's life in a rock 'n roll style.

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11 a.m.

Hundreds of Chuck Berry fans have turned out to pay their last respects to rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry.

The Rolling Stones sent a flower arrangement shaped like a guitar that was displayed near Berry's casket. The note read: "Thank you for the inspiration. With fondest memories, Keith, Mick, Charlie, and Ronnie. The Rolling Stones."

Wendy Mason drove in from Kansas City, Kansas to attend the visitation because Berry meant a lot to her and anybody who grew up on rock 'n' roll. She says Berry's music will live on forever.

David Letterman's former band leader, Paul Shaffer, showed up at the service to pay tribute Sunday. Shaffer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Berry inspired everyone who plays rock 'n' roll.

Nick Hair brought his guitar with him from Nashville, Tennessee, so he could play Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" while waiting in line outside the visitation. Hair says Berry set the foundation for music today.

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8:30 a.m.

Fans young and old are filing into a St. Louis music club to pay their final respects to rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry, who died last month at age 90.

The Pageant, where Berry often performed, opened its doors Sunday morning for a four-hour public viewing, which will be followed by a private service for family and friends.

The musician behind hits such as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" had a profound influence on rock 'n' roll, from garage bands to stadium acts such as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he closed out its concert in 1995 to celebrate that Cleveland building's opening.

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1 a.m.

Chuck Berry fans have the chance to say their final farewells to the late rock 'n' roll visionary.

Fans can file past Berry's casket later Sunday at a St. Louis club where he often performed. After the public viewing, a private service will be held for family and friends of the music legend, who died March 18 at age 90.

The musician behind hits such as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven" had a profound influence on rock 'n' roll, from garage bands to stadium acts such as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he closed out its concert in 1995 to celebrate that Cleveland building's opening.

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