Mourners farewell musician Pauly Fuemana

Updated at 9:14 pm on 6 February 2010

Hundreds of gathered for the funeral in Auckland of musician Pauly Fuemana, whose friends paid tribute saying he inspired all South Auckland.

The musician, best-known for the hit song How Bizarre, died in hospital at the North Shore on 31 January, aged 40, of a short illness.

His funeral was held on Friday at the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church in Newton.

Friend and hip-hop pioneer DLT said people still cannot fathom what Fuemana has done for South Auckland, having come from a place where he wasn't supposed to achieve what he did.

Rapper Dei Hamo said he wants his friend to be remembered as one of New Zealand's icons.

Family friend and rapper Ermehn described Fuemana as the guy that swam with the sharks in the music industry and came out on top.

Manukau City mayor Len Brown said Pauly Fuemana will be remembered as a great legend who totally smashed the glass ceiling.

How Bizarre was released in 1995 by the Otara Millionaires Club, better known as OMC, which was led by Fuemana.

The song is the biggest-selling New Zealand record of all time and went to number one in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and Austria.

Next story in National: Unions urge action on jobless