Fans of Aretha Franklin pay respects before Detroit funeral

Cristina Cross
August 31, 2018

Even at her public viewing, late diva Aretha Franklin was dressed to the nines.

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.

Franklin's funeral is due to take place on August 31, at 10am EST (12am AEST) when her body will be entombed at a family gravesite. About 200 people spent the night on the street near the Museum, and among the first to pay tribute to the Queen of soul.

In 1967, Franklin was honoured with a day named for her and was greeted by long time friend Martin Luther King Jr. who gave her the SCLC Drum Beat Award for Musicians two months before his death.

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The lineup of performers will include Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson - both also sang at Michael Jackson's funeral in 2009 - along with Chaka Khan, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday, Fantasia, a number of gospel singers and Franklin's son Edward. "They really loved her, and she loved Detroit".

Thousands of people are expected to file past her body in repose at the museum from 9 am to 9 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by an afternoon viewing at her father's New Bethel Baptist Church on Thursday.

The procession into the Ford Motor Rotunda lasted more than ten minutes, and the overflow crowd of more than 1,000 filled the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

"She respected them - she understood that if it were not for them, she wouldn't be who she is", she said.

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The mum-of-four died surrounded by loved ones in the town where she grew up, publicist Gwendolyn Quinn announced.

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

Swanson, whose family has been in the funeral services business for 60 years, said they were "honored to be able to help" as they did when the "Queen of of Soul" lost her dad.

Sabrina Owens told The Associated Press on Tuesday the roses surrounding Franklin's gold-plated casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History reflect her love for the flower and her propensity to send arrangements "in grand fashion". Her popular numbers included "Since You've Been Gone", "Respect", and "The House That Jack Built".

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The museum also plans to stage an exhibition honoring Franklin.

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