Star-studded Funeral of Aretha Franklin
Musicians, family, friends and fans have said a final goodbye to Aretha Franklin at her funeral in Detroit. Lasting over seven hours, the memorial was both mournful and celebratory, with the crowd breaking into a spontaneous dance of praise at one point. Focusing on Franklin’s gospel roots, the service featured music from Ariana Grande and Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder delivering an emotional finale, with Bill Clinton in attendance as well.
Franklin died earlier this month of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. Her final send-off involved 100 pink Cadillacs, a gold-plated coffin, three presidential tributes and eulogies by more than a dozen preachers. They remembered her not just as the Queen of Soul, but as an aunt, grandmother, friend, civil rights activist and icon of black womanhood.
The singer will be buried in a 24-carat, gold-plated casket made of solid bronze. The interior is finished with champagne velvet, and stitched with her name and her title, “Queen of Soul”, in gold metallic thread. The funeral followed a tribute concert, starring The Four Tops, Angie Stone and Regina Belle on Thursday evening.