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“It was thrilling,” she said. “Even though he wasn’t there, Hal said it was the highest honor he had ever received.”

Obama noted their music is still being recorded by such artists as Alicia Keys and John Legend.

“Above all, they stayed true to themselves,” Obama said. “And with an unmistakable authenticity, they captured the emotions of our daily lives _ the good times, the bad times, and everything in between.”

Born in New York City, David attended public schools and NYU, then served in the Army during World War II, mostly as a member of an entertainment unit in the South Pacific. After the war, he was a copywriter at the New York Post and wrote lyrics for bandleaders before hooking up with Bacharach.

He married Anne Rauchman in 1947, and together they had two sons.

Singer Smokey Robinson called on others to honor David’s musical legacy.

“I hope that the music world will join together in celebrating the life of one of our greatest composers ever,” he said.

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AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed from New York.