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The Latest: Aretha Franklin’s family arrives at church
Entertainment & Media By: The Bullet Wire August 31st, 2018 8:16 am
DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on the funeral for soul legend Aretha Franklin (all times local):
The Queen of Soul’s funeral is underway.
A processional of Aretha Franklin’s family and other loved ones is filling the aisles of the Greater Grace Temple on Friday morning in her hometown of Detroit.
The church’s choir sang Franklin’s “Say a Little Prayer” and her version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as mourners arrived. When the diva’s family arrived, the song was “You Are The Source of My Strength.”
They filed past and paid their respects at Franklin’s open casket, where they saw her wearing a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels — her fourth and final outfit of the week.
Many in the pews ignored repeated calls of no phones permitted to take selfies with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton as they filed in.
Ariana Grande and her fiance, Pete Davidson, walked arm-in-arm and chatted with dignitaries like Bill Clinton before the funeral for Aretha Franklin.
The singer, who is scheduled to perform at the ceremony, and the “Saturday Night Live” cast member entered Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple smiling on Friday and posed for photos. They even shared a brief kiss on the stage.
Others from the world of show biz seen in the church included Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Tyler Perry and Jenifer Lewis.
The start of the service — intended to begin at 10 a.m. — was delayed. Franklin’s white hearse arrived more than two hours before the service was scheduled to start.
In the moments before Aretha Franklin’s funeral, dignitaries filled Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple.
Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tyler Perry, Whoppi Goldberg, Stevie Wonder, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Faith Hill, T.D. Jakes, Jennifer Holliday, Jesse Jackson, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Rep. Maxine Waters, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan were all spotted.
Floral arrangements from such singers as Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and from the family of Otis Redding were set up in a hallway outside the sanctuary.
Other bouquets were sent from the Jackson family, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Whispers, Atlantic Records, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, Tom Joyner, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Don King, and Diana Ross.
Franklin’s white hearse arrived more than two hours before the service was scheduled to start.
Aretha Franklin is dressed in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels for her final outfit.
Mourners got a glimpse of the Queen of Soul before her funeral Friday during an open casket viewing at the Greater Grace Temple. The gold dress is the fourth outfit Franklin has worn during a week of events leading up to her funeral.
Franklin was dressed head to heel in red for her first public viewing on Tuesday, a nod to her membership in the sorority Delta Sigma Theta. 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.
Numerous floral arrangements from celebrities including Sam Moore, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand and the family of Otis Redding were set up in a hallwayoutside the sanctuary.
Moore’s arrangement included a card that read, “You know I always adored and loved you to bits and pieces … Even when we would fuss.”
Aretha Franklin’s body has arrived at a Detroit church where her funeral is being held Friday.
Franklin’s white hearse arrived more than two hours before the service is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Fans have been lined up for hours outside the Greater Grace Temple awaiting the chance to attend the service, which will feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and speeches by former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Smokey Robinson.
Among those honoring Franklin Friday are about two dozen owners of Pink Cadillacs who arrived at the church early Friday. The tribute is a nod to Franklin’s funky ’80s tune, “Freeway of Love,” which prominently featured the car in the lyrics and video.
Organizers of Aretha Franklin’s funeral insist it will be a spirit-filled service, not a show. Yet there’s no denying the star-power attending the Queen of Soul’s final send-off.
The speakers at Friday’s invitation-only funeral at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple include former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Smokey Robinson. Singers include Steve Wonder, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill and Chaka Khan.
Greater Grace’s Bishop Charles Ellis III says he wants all — even the famous — to leave with a “spiritual awakening.”
Still, the get-down and uplift can certainly coexist.
Another performer, gospel artist Marvin Sapp, expects “an eye-opening experience.” He adds the “dearly departed” want a celebration to mark their transition “from this life to a better one.”
Franklin died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at 76.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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