Wonder, 68, took the stage at the Staples Center to eulogize Hussle, 33, who was shot to death outside his Marathon Clothing store last month. He was one of several stars including Snoop Dogg and Hussle’s girlfriend, Lauren London, to share kind words and performances in the late rapper’s honor.
Before singing “Rocket Love” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” People reports that Wonder lamented the “heartbreak” of losing Hussle, calling it “so unnecessary.” He then called on lawmakers to take action when it comes to gun laws in the United States.
“We, to be a civilized nation, civilized world, we still are living in a time where ego, anger, jealousy is controlling our lives,” Wonder said. “It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that says: ‘Listen, we must have stronger gun laws. It’s unacceptable.'”
He added: “It’s almost like the world is becoming blind. I pray that we grow; I pray that the leaders who have a responsibility to perpetuate life will do it by making sure that the laws will make it so very hard for people to have guns and to take their frustrations out.”
Hussle, whose name was Ermias Ashedom, was known in the community as a positive influence in the neighborhood. The Los Angeles Times reported that the father of two was known to give jobs to some homeless and even once donated a pair of shoes to every student at a nearby school.
Eric Holder, 29, was arrested and charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.The Associated Press contributed to this report.