Soulful farewell for Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin received a send-off fit for the musical royalty she was, as thousands turned up at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit yesterday to celebrate the late singer's life.
The venue was filled with celebrities who grew to become Franklin's close friends during her lifetime. Among those who attended the thanksgiving service were gospel singer Shirley Caesar; Gladys Knight; former president of the United States, Bill Clinton; actor Tyler Perry; actress Cicely Tyson; singer Chaka Khan, and Reverend Al Sharpton.
Franklin was remembered for her immense contributions to music, as well as for being a civil rights activist, a feminist, and a woman who respected family and self.
President Obama and his wife Michelle were not able to attend the funeral but sent their tributes via letter with Rev Al Sharpton. President Obama's letter described Franklin as a woman who rocked the world from a young age and expressed that her work reflected the best of the American story.
During the service, there were also soulful musical tributes from Chaka Khan, Fantasia Barrino-Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, and Ariana Grande.