Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Unforgettable moments from Aretha Franklin's funeral

Unforgettable moments from Aretha Franklin's funeral

The Queen of Soul was remembered during a almost eight-hour service that featured tributes from former U.S. President Bill Clinton and civil rights leaders, as well as often emotional performances by entertainers Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Gladys Knight.

As the church swelled with attendees - a who's who of big names in music, sports and politics were present to pay their respects: The Clark Sisters, Ariana Grande, former basketball star Isiah Thomas and former President Bill Clinton. In pointing out the long lines to pay tribute to Franklin this week, the Rev. Jesse Jackson lamented that the lines to vote often aren't almost as long.

Faith Hill performed the classic gospel song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" during Aretha Franklin's funeral on Friday morning (Aug. 31). Guests included former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson.

She is well known for songs like "Superwoman", "Gladys Knight & the Pips" and "Missing You".

Mourners are gathering in Detroit for the funeral of Aretha Franklin.

"Earlier in the lengthy ceremony, Grande performed her take on "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", the 1967 song written by Carole King that became one of Franklin's signature hits.

"She lived with courage - not without fear but overcoming her fears".

He said he was privileged to have been present for her last public performance, at an AIDS benefit event organized by Elton John that took place at the largest church in New York City. She looked "desperately ill" but managed to greet him by standing and saying, "How you doing, baby?"

Knight started off her career with the band "The Pips" in the 1950s.

"It's the key to freedom".

Thus far, however, there is no indication of discord among Franklin's family.

Letters from George W Bush and Barack Obama were read out, praising her contribution to America. Living life in the spotlight as part of the music industry from age 12, she also gained a reputation as a feminist and champion in the fight for civil rights. Some other performers counted Aretha Franklin as a friend and colleague for many decades, like Stevie Wonder. At least one of the singer's attorneys says he urged her repeatedly over the years to draft one. The "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" singer told local station WDIV that she and Franklin "had the same disease", but according to her rep, that's not the case.

Among those spotted at the service were Isiah Thomas, Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, the Rev. Al Sharpton, T.D. Jakes, Jennifer Holliday, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Rep. Maxine Waters and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Her family wanted to keep the funeral service private to those closest to Franklin - though it was being streamed and portions broadcast by major networks - but worked to provide the singer's fans an opportunity to say goodbye this week, Owens said.

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