Aretha Franklin hailed as civil rights hero as celebrities gather for funeral

Here's how to watch Aretha Franklin's funeral on Friday

Aretha Franklin hailed as civil rights hero as celebrities gather for funeral

Aretha Franklin was so hard-nosed in her business dealings that she demanded to be paid in cash before performing.

Detroit has plans to honor one of its most famous residents. Even in our music, He sends us messages. "When Aretha Franklin sang, it felt like the voice of Detroit". "She was about transforming the existence of black America".

He said she was the "soundtrack of the civil rights movement", before adding: "She fought the good fight". She wore a baby blue dress on Wednesday and a rose gold gown for a viewing Thursday at the Detroit church where her father was the longtime pastor.

"Ok we all have limits and my limit is Pete Davidson sitting VIP at Aretha Franklin's funeral", one user tweeted. One of Franklin's nieces agreed to serve as executor. And then came Aretha.

She said: "At that time we shared the fact that we had the same disease". Franklin sang for Nelson Mandela in Detroit after he was released from prison. "And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance". "She would ride the streets of Detroit, taking note of people who have special needs, quietly dispensing donations", Watson said.

Two other former presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, did not attend the ceremony but their tributes were read out to mourners.

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"Our attractive waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin park and when performers from generations to come from around the world come here they will be reminded they are performing at the home of the "Queen of Soul", he said".

Her first hit "Respect" topped the Hot 100 for several years and was followed by other singles.

He also took the opportunity to fire back at President Donald Trump, who had tried to claim part of Franklin's legacy as his own after her death, claiming "she worked for me" because she had performed at his failed casino.

"Nothing sounded better to me than the way my grandma sings", Victorie Franklin said. "Her voice brought peace". Franklin's father and other family members are buried there, along with other influential Detroiters like Parks, Edsel Ford, department store magnate J.L. Hudson, plus former Detroit Mayors Hazen Pingree and Albert Cobo.

"Aretha was on the battleground for 60 years", Jackson told the audience. He said he wasn't expecting to say goodbye.

One wrote: "I'm sorry you had to do through something uncomfortable like that!" I'll miss you, my friend.

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Moore's arrangement included a card that read, "You know I always adored and loved you to bits and pieces".

Aretha Franklin was known as the Queen of Soul.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit The tribute is a nod to Franklin's funky '80s tune, "Freeway of Love", which prominently featured the auto in the lyrics and video.

Aretha Louise Franklin, singer, songwriter and civil rights activist, was laid to rest Friday in an epic funeral that stretched from morning to evening in a massive Detroit church packed with celebrities, elected officials, religious leaders and hundreds of regular fans. And as NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas reports, the undercurrent to it all was music.

Franklin was voted the greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and for African American women in particular was a role model and a benchmark for success, feminism and empowerment. Walk in the light. There was politics and humor but, most of all, music.

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