Video Of Aretha’s Open Casket Viewing Fit For A Queen, Hundreds Say Final Goodbyes
Hundreds of mourners poured into Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Tuesday morning, to say their final goodbyes to the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin. She passed away at age 76 on August 16th, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer and now – even in death – her regal presence lives on.
As fans lined up outside the museum, they watched in sorrow and awe as Ms. Franklin’s gold-plated casket was hoisted from a white regal-like hearse. As she then lay in repose, she was the representation of a beautiful legacy, decked out in all red from head to toe. Red dress, red heels, red everything and it was a truly captivating sight to witness. Her legs were crossed at the ankles as she lay in peace.
The museum’s board member, Kelly Major Green, stated that the goal was to create an environment that was filled with dignity, respect, and one that captured the essence of the church, which is where Aretha started. Green says her legs crossed at the ankles was a good representation of both comfort and power:
“What we wanted to do is be reflective of the Queen,” Green said. “It’s beautiful. She’s beautiful.” … “The Queen of Soul is diva to the end.”
Fans were allowed to view her body and as they walked by the ‘queen,’ many held their heads down, crossed their chests, blew kisses, sobbed and simply appreciated Aretha for all that she’s contributed to the soundtrack of our lives.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 28, 2018
One fan- Tammy Gibson, 49- told ABC News that she’d arrived at the museum around 5:30 a.m. and that she’d come alone, but made friends with the others in line as they reminisced about Re-Re and sang her timeless hits:
“I saw the gold-plated casket — it dawned on me: She’s gone, but her legacy and her music will live on forever,” said Gibson.
Another mourner- Virginia Tech professor – Paula Seniors- shared an interesting backstory: her father, Clarence Seniors, was roommates with Aretha’s brother, Cecil Franklin, at Morehouse College back in the day. So for Paula, her museum viewing moment touched home:
“I think it’s incredibly significant — she is being honored almost like a queen at one of the most important black museums in the United States. [Aretha was] so unapologetically black — she was so proud of being a black woman.”
Aretha will lay in state for two days at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. See details of her upcoming funeral below.
Details Of Aretha’s Star Studded Funeral & Tribute Show
Aretha Franklin’s funeral service will not be open to the public, however, all of us will get to watch it live on television and online. Her service will take place on August 31, 2018 at 10 a.m (eastern time) and will be live-streamed by the Associated Press, which means several other online media outlets will probably stream it as well. Among them, CNN and Fox News will be airing portions of the service on television.
The beautiful thing is that Aretha will have an impeccable home-going that is fit for a queen and filled with a ton of soul. Check out this lineup of 19 performers (via Detroit Free Press):
— JIOVAUNTE’ (@Jiovaunte) August 24, 2018
The Clark Sisters
The Williams Brothers
Vanessa Bell Armstrong
Audrey DuBois Harris
Alice McAllister Tillman
Aretha Franklin Orchestra
Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir
According to Billboard, ‘The eulogy for the late music superstar…will be delivered by the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. of Atlanta’s Salem Baptist Church.’
Tribute Show details…
There is also a separate free tribute show that will take place at Chene Park in Deroit, on August 30th and that lineup is a beast as well (via Detroit Free Press):
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Minister Louis Farrakhan
The Four Tops
Dr. Bobby Jones
Kierra (Kiki) Sheard
Rest on Aretha.