'Rooted in the black church': Aretha Franklin's funeral returns to gospel

Aretha Franklin Clinton inauguration

The funeral for Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, was held on Friday in Detroit.

The body of Franklin, who died aged 76 from pancreatic cancer, has been transported to the service in a 1940s vintage hearse, which carried both Rosa Parks and her father.

Former president Bill Clinton and Smokey Robinson are among those due to give eulogies, with music from Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, who is to portray Franklin in an upcoming biopic.

Taking to Twitter, a British Army spokesperson said: "Respect for others underpins all we do in the British Army so it was no surprise that the Welsh Guards Band paid tribute to musical icon and inspiration Aretha Franklin at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace today". "To say I was humbled to be in her presence would be an understatement".

Robinson, the Motown great, remembered first hearing her play piano when he was just 8 and remaining close for the rest of her life, talking for hours at a time. For three days she lay in a golden, open-casket, wearing a different outfit each day - red on Tuesday, blue on Wednesday, rose gold on Thursday and a golden sparkling dress for her funeral on Friday.

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"When word went out that Ms. Franklin passed, Trump said she used to work for me". "We really celebrate because we really recognize that those we call the dearly departed, they wouldn't want for us to cry and be sad and sorrowful".

Family members, among them granddaughter Victorie Franklin and niece Cristal Franklin, spoke with awe and affection as they remembered a world-famous performer who also loved gossip and kept pictures of loved ones on her piano.

Singing a Franklin classic in front of the late icon's family and friends was no doubt a daunting task, but Grande handled it with grace, keeping her usual verbal gymnastics in check to deliver a handsome, faithful rendition. The Lord tells us where we are going and tells us when we are coming. It's the key to freedom.

Owens said Franklin loved fiercely and was the family's matriarch. "Girl, I gotta give you all your respect", the master of the ceremonies said.

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