Stars, dignitaries mourn Aretha Franklin at Detroit funeral

01 September, 2018, 08:44 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Stars arrive for funeral of Aretha Franklin as hundreds of fans line the streets of Detroit to say goodbye

An all-star lineup of mourners filled a Detroit church with prayers and songs Friday for Aretha Franklin's funeral, honoring her not just as the Queen of Soul but also as a lifelong friend, family member, churchgoer and activist. Unfortunately, Gladys Knight has revealed that she, like Aretha Franklin, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

As endless amounts of fans lined up to pay their respects to the late Aretha Franklin, some of the most influential artists of today paid tribute by way of live music. Thursday night, a concert in her honor was held in downtown Detroit.

The speakers at Friday's invitation-only funeral at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple include former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Smokey Robinson. Watch her performance here!

"I'm so proud of you, I know you'll be watching me from the windows of heaven and I promise to carry our family legacy with pride", said Franklin's grandson Jordan, tearing up.

Ariana Grande powered through Franklin's 1968 hit "Natural Woman", with further tributes expected from Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson. "It was more like us supporting each other", she recalled of their rise to fame.




She was dressed in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels for her final outfit - the fourth outfit Franklin has worn during a week of events leading up to her funeral. "Aretha never took orders from nobody but God".

In this photo from November 9, 2005, U.S. president George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, to singer Aretha Franklin (L) as actor Andy Griffith (R) watches at the White House. Throughout her career, she won 18 Grammy Awards and was nominated 44 times.

When the service ends, dozens of pink Cadillacs will lead a processional to the cemetery.

Barbara Sampson read a statement from former President George W. Bush, saying that Franklin would continue to inspire future generations.

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