The Queen of Soul has been laid to rest.
Fans flocked to Detroit on Friday to pay respects to legendary singer Aretha Franklin, who died August 16 at the age of 76. The funeral service was a gathering of family and friends, as well as musicians, politicians, activists, and prominent African-American clergy, who mourned the death and celebrated the life of one of the most revered performers in American popular music.
“Nothing sounded better to me than the way my grandma sings. Her voice made you feel something,” said her granddaughter, Victorie Franklin. “You felt every word, every note, every emotion in the songs she sang. Her voice brought peace.”
The homegoing service, at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple, was undoubtedly fit for royalty. Franklin lay in a glistening golden casket before thousands including dignitaries, contemporaries, and fans from her adopted hometown and beyond. Former President Bill Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, actress Cicely Tyson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and music executive Clive Davis were among the roster of speakers during the service.
Also fitting for such an influential musical artist, several performers paid tribute to Franklin, including Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, the Clark Sisters, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson, and a full gospel choir.
“I’ve been watching the celebration of your life from everywhere and I’ve been doing interviews from everywhere from all over the world,” Robinson said in his sendoff to Franklin, who’d been his longtime friend. “In fact, the last one I did was from Brazil and the station that I was talking on covered all of South America. So the world is celebrating you. And the world is mourning you, and the world is going to miss you.” Robinson then sang a somber rendition of his song, “Really Gonna Miss You.”
Throngs of people hoping to catch a final glimpse of the star lined the streets around the site of the day-long service, which began Friday morning and continued well into the early evening.
Here’s a glance at Franklin’s final sendoff.