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Saying Good Bye to The Queen of Soul :: Aretha Franklin


Recent tributes to Aretha Franklin are culminating Friday in the answer to one question: How do you lay a queen to rest?


It was what drew the crowd to Detroit's Greater Grace Temple on Friday morning to honor the "Queen of Soul," who died August 16 at age 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.


Franklin's funeral was a star-studded gathering, and the pews were packed with fellow musicians, famous actors, religious leaders and politicians, including a former US President.

Aretha Franklin's funeral: Live updates

    Franklin's open casket was placed at the front of the church as mourners streamed by in

    advance of the service. As they passed by, they saw the singer's body dressed all in gold, with a long sequin gown and high heels to match her gleaming gold casket.


    Projected on the walls were the words "A Celebration Fit for the Queen."

    A rousing gospel choir greeted attendees who took their seats in the pews as the processional began, and before long many were on their feet, singing and clapping along.



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    The casket was closed at the end of the lengthy processional after the singer's family and friends had said goodbye and as the choir sang, "Jesus, the Light of the World."


    "Walk in the light," the singers proclaimed as the casket lid was lowered, "the beautiful light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright."


    As the last of Franklin's family members took their seat, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who is officiating the service, asked the congregation to stand and applaud them.


    "This family has shared their mother, their grandmother, their aunt, their cousin with the entire world," Ellis said. "Let us all stand and thank them for sharing her with us."

    Singer Faith Hill was the first of many celebrities to perform, belting out a rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" alongside the gospel choir.