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Paul Simon Paused While Singing ‘The Boxer’ to Break News of Muhammad Ali Death

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Paul Simon gave a fitting tribute to Muhammad Ali Friday night – pausing in the final verse of singing the 1969 hit “The Boxer” to tell the crowd that “the Greatest” had died.

Simon was performing at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California, stopped near the end of one of his final songs to say: “I’m sorry to tell you this way, but Muhammad Ali has passed away.”

An audible sadness passed through the crowd before Simon finished performing the Simon & Garfunkel song.

According to a concert review in the San Jose Mercury News, a hush fell over the audience following the news – making Simon’s final song of the night, “The Sound of Silence,” “seem all that more poignant.”

Ali died Friday at age 74 after spending his final days in a hospital being treated for respiratory trouble.

This article originally appeared on People.com

For much more on Muhammad Ali, see TIME’s ALI: The Greatest, a 112-page, fully illustrated commemorative edition. Available at retailers and at AMAZON.COM

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