Laila Ali: it was “kind of surreal” preparing for dad Muhammad Ali’s funeral

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Laila Ali poses for photographer on the red carpet before the start of the 23rd Anniversary of the Trumpet Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, January 24, 2015. The famed "Red Carpet" of the Trumpet Awards rolled out and welcomed an elite cast of who's who in the areas of business, politics, public service, design, communications, sports and entertainment. The awards show took place at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, January 24, 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Laila Ali sat for a brief interview amid a sad time for her family.

“It’s kind of surreal,” she said. “The family appreciates everyone coming to town, everyone showing their love.”

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Laila Ali poses for photographer on the red carpet before the start of the 23rd Anniversary of the Trumpet Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, January 24, 2015. The famed "Red Carpet" of the Trumpet Awards rolled out and welcomed an elite cast of who's who in the areas of business, politics, public service, design, communications, sports and entertainment. The awards show took place at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, January 24, 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Laila Ali  before the start of the 23rd Anniversary of the Trumpet Awards at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Jan. 24, 2015. AJC file photo: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

A private graveside service for Ali was held at Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. His interfaith memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center, where former President Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal and TV journalist Bryant Gumbel are scheduled to speak, his happening now.

Laila Ali, who has spent time in Atlanta hosting the annual Trumpet Awards, was the portrait of grace amid sorrow during this short interview with Access Hollywood.

“My father touched so many people and it’s more evident now than ever,” she said. “I’m trying to make sure I’m in the moment. It’s a sad day of course. We’re laying our father to rest for good. Even though I’m happy he’s not struggling any more with Parkinson’s and I know he’s in a better place and it’s part of the circle of life, it still is a hard thing to do.”

Here’s the clip:


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