Aretha Franklin's funeral service on Friday in Detroit was an extraordinary occasion by every measure as family, friends, civil rights activists, preachers, and a former president celebrated the Queen of Soul. The 68-year-old singer then dedicated the song "As" to Franklin, performing the number with singers Angie Stone, Jennifer Lewis, and Martha Reeves and offering one final tribute to the late singer, who died on August 16 at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Aretha Franklin Orchestra performed a medley featuring I Say a Little Prayer, Angel, and other songs she was known for, along with such gospel numbers as I Love the Lord and Walk in the Light. Over decades, she increased her musical reach to wider forms of expression but stayed true to her beginnings.
They are a nod to her 1985 hit "Freeway of Love", an anthem to her Motor City hometown.
"Author Mona Eltahawy added: "I don't care what you think about Ariana Grande, her music or her dress". She even went personally to the downtown post office. The Rev. Al Sharpton read a statement from former President Barack Obama, who wrote that Franklin's "work reflected the very best of the American story". "She lived with faith. I just loved her". The mayor announced that Detroit's Chene Park and its performance amphitheater would be renamed for Franklin. "Black lives do not matter, black lives will not matter, black lives ought not matter, black lives should not matter, black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves, black lives can never matter", Williams said. At the funeral, Hudson blazed through the song "Amazing Grace".
'The Lord tells us where we are going and tells us when we are coming, ' Knight said.
Franklin performed at Clinton's 1993 presidential inauguration. "He sang, "... for the rest of my life, gonna be thinking about you.
SMOKEY ROBINSON: (Singing) I'll miss you, my buddy.
Friday's event also was laced with politics, social commentary and appeals to activism.
Buckingham Palace showed the ultimate respect to the Queen today-the Queen of Soul, that is.
Jackson praised Franklin for being a civil-rights leader and used her legacy as a way to encourage people to get out and vote.
She was awarded America's highest civilian honour by Bush in 2005.
The formal part of the service stretching almost eight hours, the celebration of the life and legacy of the U.S. icon was packed with gospel, eulogies, music and sermons. Whispers such as "talk about Aretha" were audible in the crowd.
Bill Clinton described himself as an Aretha Franklin "groupie", saying he had loved her since college. "We have long lines to celebrate death, and short lines for voting. Something is missing." He told the audience if they don't register to vote, it would dishonor Franklin.
"I want y'all to help me correct President Trump, to teach him what [respect] means".