The funeral of singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton, who passed away at age 31 following a three-year battle with breast cancer, took place at Westwood Village Memorial Park on July 12, 1979. Riperton's family pastor, Dr. A.L. Reynolds, Sr., traveled to Los Angeles from Chicago's Sixth Grace United Presbyterian Church to oversee the services, which were attended by over 500 mourners. Space limitations allowed only 200 or so attendees inside the small chapel; the remainder poured out onto the cemetery grounds.Continue Reading
A number of prominent celebrities were among those who came to pay their respects, including producer and music mogul Quincy Jones, film director Peter Hyams, actress Pam Grier and musician Stevie Wonder, who sang "If It's Magic" in remembrance. Riperton's manager, Ken Fritz, delivered a eulogy.
The deceased was laid to rest in a silver casket adorned with a small scattering of white flowers. While the coffin remained closed throughout the services, relatives later revealed that Riperton had been buried in a recently purchased blue ball gown. The dress, meant to be worn at a Washington affair honoring Black Music Month, instead remained unused until the funeral; Riperton's advancing illness prevented her from attending the White House event.
Riperton, who is survived by husband Richard, son Marc and daughter Maya as of 2016, is memorialized with a simple epitaph, "Lovin' you is easy 'cause you're beautiful," a sentiment which echoes the first line of her signature song.Learn more about Art & Literature