Aretha Franklin funeral: Nation mourns and celebrates the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin funeral: Nation mourns and celebrates the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin funeral: Nation mourns and celebrates the Queen of Soul

Franklin will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery, where her legendary minister father C.L. Franklin and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks are also buried.

The "Ain't No Way" singer lies in her 24-karat-gold-plated casket at Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Mourners began filling the church early Friday, while Franklin's fans and dozens of pink Cadillac owners lined up outside, a tribute to the singer's 1985 hit "Freeway of Love" in which she sang, "We goin' ridin' on the freeway of love in my pink Cadillac".

Speakers include Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, city council president Brenda Jones, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former president Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, Tyler Perry, Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson, Isaiah Thomas, and more.

Barack called Franklin "one of a kind" and said he and his wife will keep Franklin's family in their thoughts.

Clinton and the Queen of Soul were longtime friends. The week of tribute events in Detroit, which have included several concerts and a widely attended public viewing, culminate Friday with Franklin's star-studded funeral, expected to draw dignitaries, musicians and other high-profile figures from around the world.

Bishop Charles Ellis III of Greater Grace knows well of the boldface guest list and surrounding pomp and circumstance, but he has a higher mission in mind for a service that may well exceed five hours.

The former first couple were unable to attend Franklin's funeral because the 44th president is set to deliver the eulogy for the late US Sen.

Franklin had continued to tour and record intermittently through her final year. "She didn't belong just to us, but she was from us", Steele said. "Death is a part of life". Her last album, A Brand New Me, was released in November 2017, which paired archival vocal recordings for Atlantic Records with new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. "And hopefully, a lot of people here with money and fame and influence and friends and notoriety and wealth, hopefully they will think of their mortality and say there is something bigger than fame, there is something bigger than Hollywood, something bigger than being a recording artist and selling gold albums or what have you".

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