Aretha Franklin: thousands expected to pay respects in Detroit

31 August, 2018, 18:45 | Author: Norman Carr
  • DETROIT MI- AUGUST 16 A sign on the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit commemorates the passing of singer Aretha Franklin the

Some wore Aretha T-shirts or held umbrellas and fanned themselves under the hot sun.

T. D. Jakes Ministries spokeswoman Regina Lewis told FOX 4 News Bishop Jakes is looking forward to being a part of the home-going ceremony and celebration.

The private funeral will be limited to family, friends, dignitaries and special guests - but a large screen is being erected for public viewing according to Bishop Charles H Ellis III, pastor of Greater Grace Temple.

As the line of those wishing to pay tribute grew, cars rolled past the museum, honking horns, waving to those assembled and yelling, "Aretha Franklin!" as they went by.

An official photo of Franklin laying in her casket, clad in crimson and surrounded by pink flowers, was released for fans who can not make it to Detroit to say farewell.

Yet she added that Franklin, who died August 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76, also was "so unapologetically black - she was so proud of being a black woman". "She loved the city of Detroit and the city of Detroit loved her".

Franklin will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, along with her father Rev. C.L. Franklin; sisters Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin; brother Cecil Franklin; and nephew Thomas Garrett.


"She meant so much to so many people", said Frances Billingslea, 59, of Detroit's west side.

"I got chills", said Pat Turner, 56, of Alexandria Virginia, when she saw the vehicle pull up with the gold casket inside. It is said that her body is being displayed alongside a lovely floral arrangement. Indeed, a group of women were singing her hit "Freeway of Love".

Owens said she began planning for this week's festivities earlier this year.

She said that the love between Franklin, her family and fans was typical, and she felt she had to be present to honor the legendary singer.

The Queen of Soul was calling to personally invite Thimes to attend and sing at her birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in New York City. But she represented and pushed for both in ways big and small - none, perhaps, more prominently or simultaneously as her mold-breaking take on the Otis Redding song, "Respect". "She had a sound that no one else had, and that is what got her to where she was".

The museum also plans to stage an exhibition honoring Franklin.

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