All-star funeral for Franklin begins with prayers, songs

Oscar Cross
September 4, 2018

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said singer Aretha Franklin "rocked the world of anyone who had the pleasure of hearing her voice" in a letter that was read during her funeral service Friday to honor the "Queen of Soul".

Faith Hill faced a daunting challenge when she performed at Aretha Franklin's memorial service, held Friday at the Greater Grace Temple in Franklin's home city of Detroit.

Franklin's funeral in Detroit will include speeches from former President Bill Clinton, as well as civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, actress Cicely Tyson and others.

"You know, the other Sunday on my show, I misspelled "Respect" and a lot of y'all corrected me", Sharpton said. Their message of love and celebration of Franklin had many in tears.

It's hard to imagine that Aretha Franklin wouldn't appreciate the Band of the Welsh Guards, dressed in their red coats (ironically matching the glamorous outfit Franklin wore to be laid to rest) and tall bearskin hats, playing "Respect" outside of the queen's residence.

The rendition was a big hit on Twitter, with one user describing it as "one queen's homage to another".

Sharpton received loud cheers when he denounced President Donald Trump for saying that the singer "worked for" him as he responded to her death. No, she used to perform for you.

A statement from former President George W. Bush that was read to the crowd said Franklin would "continue to bring joy to millions for generations to come". "She worked for us", he said.

Franklin, who died at the age of 76, also suffered from the dreaded disease.

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