Ariana Grande added to Aretha Franklin's funeral

Eloise Marshall
August 31, 2018

Workers carefully moved Franklin's polished bronze casket from the rotunda late Wednesday night and loaded it in to a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse.

The service will conclude a week of events in Franklin's beloved city of Detroit, which has included her body lying in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History so fans could pay their respects.

The world lost a legend on August 16 when the great Aretha Franklin passed away at age 76 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Thousands of fans paid their respects at the open, golden casket of the U.S. music icon and "Queen of Soul", who lay in state at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The casket of legendary singer Aretha Franklin is removed from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018.

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In her six decades as a music superstar, Franklin's public persona defined the term dive-her fur coats and entourages as recognizable as her voice. At least 20 performers are scheduled to participate, including Stevie Wonder, Shirley Caesar, Faith Hill and Ariana Grande.

Asked her thoughts about other performers, she had kind words for Adele's talent, but of Swift she said, "OK, great gowns, handsome gowns".

"I met her a few times".

In the evening a free concert honoring Franklin's life is to kick off at 6pm at the Chene Park Amphitheatre, an outdoor riverfront arena in downtown Detroit that has 5,000 seats and 1,000 lawn spaces. The retired counsellor, who grew up in the same neighbourhood as Franklin and crossed paths with her in the pre-fame years, said she always appreciated that the singer remained rooted. "I sang with her, not often because she was on the road a lot, but I do say I have that privilege".

"She's probably one of the strongest people that I've ever known and didn't know that she was that strong, but I think it was that spiritual part that kept her going", Ellis said.

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