via BlackAmericaWeb/CBS NEWS:
Aretha Franklin was laid to rest today in an epic, hours-long funeral that featured dynamic speakers and soul-stirring performances. It was a fitting end to the reign of the Queen of Soul who was known both for her civil rights activism and her amazing voice and legendary career.
Only Aretha Franklin could have a funeral that was at times a Sunday Black Baptist Church service, a revival, a concert, a tribute, a history lesson, a call to arms and family reunion and have it broadcast live to a global audience. (As of this posting, it’s still going on, so we will update throughout.)
Here are some of the highlights from the service
Celebrity singers pay tribute in song
- Country singer Faith Hill was the first of many singers to take the stage
- Ariana Grande performed Aretha Franklin’s “A Natural Woman” during the service
- Jennifer Hudson, whom Franklin said she wanted to play her in a movie about her life, brought the crowd to its feet with a rousing “Amazing Grace.”
- Chaka Khan performed Tramaine Hawkins’s gospel staple “Goin’ Up Yonder”
The Aretha Franklin Orchestra performed a medley featuring “I Say a Little Prayer,” ”Angel” and other songs the Queen of Soul was known for, along with gospel numbers “I Love the Lord” and “Walk in the Light.” Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton among the speakers
The Rev. Jesse Jackson told Aretha Franklin to “sleep on” and “I’ll see you in the morning.” Jackson, who has Parkinson’s disease and is in his late 70s, spoke slowly as he stood in front of the gathered mourners at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. He led them in a prayer of thanks for Aretha and her minister father, asking that god make all in the church “better, not bitter,” by the time the day is over.
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