Aretha Franklin had admirers the world over, but there’s no doubt the flame burned brightest in Detroit — the place she was raised and remained for most of her life.
It’s difficult to separate the singer from the city, so you better think that her town is saying farewell in royal fashion to its Queen of Soul, with a concert, public viewings and a funeral that’s expected to be attended by at least one former president, civil rights leaders and many other musical luminaries.
Here are some of the events and ways in which Detroit is paying respect to Franklin, who died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76:
Public viewings are planned Tuesday and Wednesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is also where civil rights icon Rosa Parks lay in repose after her 2005 death.
Thousands of mourners are expected to come to the museum, which had been the largest black museum in the United States until the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in Washington, D.C., in 2016.
The Friday funeral at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple is billed as an event for friends and family only.
The all-star lineup of performers includes Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia and Shirley Caesar. Also slated to perform are Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday and Franklin’s son, Edward Franklin.
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