Aretha Franklin getting a star-studded send-off
The funeral forbegins Friday morning at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. Eighteen performers and more than 15 speakers will honor the Queen of Soul, including Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder and former President Clinton.
The massive 4,000-seat church is holding one final celebration of life for the 18-time Grammy winner after a week of tributes. Detroit will honor its queen by continuing a star-studded sendoff that began Thursday night with more than 40 musical acts at Chene Park. Patti LaBelle and Tyler Perry were among those honoring the iconic singer.
Throughout Thursday, final preparations were underway at Greater Grace Temple. Chairs adorned with entertainment’s biggest names could be seen throughout the massive congregation.
Bishop Charles H. Ellis III is officiating the funeral. He grew up with Franklin’s sons and still feels her impact in Motown.
“This is not the Grammys, this is not the Oscars, this is church, and we’re going to send her out just as she came in,” Ellis said. “She was your friend, she was your mother, she was your aunt, and we’re certainly going to miss that because she was always a Detroiter and never, never shied away from that … We will never see another Aretha Franklin again, never.”
The legendary Clark Sisters were going through rehearsal when CBS News’ DeMarco Morgan caught up with them.
“She’s just had an original sound that nobody could really duplicate,” Dorinda Clark-Cole said.
The gospel group is set to perform at the funeral and considers Franklin a friend and inspiration.
“We will never forget the imprint that she has given to the world. I mean, does not matter what race, she’s connected us all and she brought us all together,” Clark-Cole said.
The funeral is expected to last more than eight hours, and the church is allowing the first 1,000 fans to come in. Franklin was dressed in her third outfit of the week – a rose gold gown – for her laston Thursday. Everyone is waiting to see if there is a final wardrobe change.
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