Family and fans attend singer Marva Whitney's funeral

The James Brown backup singer a KC native

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Music fans knew Marva Whitney as a raw and brassy funk diva. On Saturday, many of those fans said their final goodbyes.  Whitney died three days before Christmas.

Born in Kansas City, Kan., Whitney started performing at the age of 3 with her family. A passion for music that continued throughout her life.

Whitney was a backup singer for James Brown and had solo hits of her own including "It's My Thing" and "Things Got To Get Better." James Brown gave her the title "Soul Sister #1," an inscription that followed the songstress throughout her career.

Family and friends attended a memorial service in her honor at Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City. Family and friends lined up to view the singers' body and pay their last respect.  

Roxanne Moore attended the funeral. She says she enjoyed a personal friendship with the songstress.

"She was such a talented woman and worked so hard in the industry, Moore said.

Family members say Whitney died on December 22 from complications with pneumonia. She was 68.

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