Aretha Franklin passed away at 76 on Thursday, August 16. Today, Franklin’s open casket memorial took place at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan, the “Respect” singer’s final resting place. The public memorial drew huge lines on Tuesday when it opened. Fans flocked to get glimpse of Franklin before the memorial ends in a few days.
Enormous bouquets of multi-colored roses flanked her ornate gold casket. The official funeral will take place on Thursday, and TMZ reports that singers like “Four Tops, Ron Isley and many, many others” will be in attendance. CNN has also confirmed that Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson will perform at the service.
Aretha passed away from pancreatic cancer earlier this month, after struggling with health issues for some time.
Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennissee in 1942. Her father, C.L. Vaughn, was a famous pastor and civil rights activist. Her mother, Barbara, was a gospel singer. When Franklin turned 2, her family left Memphis and headed for Detroit to start a church.
Franklin was a high school dropout, but went on to study classical piano at Julliard School of Music in 1998. She also holds two honorary degrees from Yale University and Berklee College of Music.
Since then, Franklin has gone on to become one of the most iconic female artists in history. She holds the record as the third-most Grammy winning female artist in history. Some of Franklin’s most famous songs include “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like a Natural) Woman”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”. She’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the NAACP Hall of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame.
Franklin is truly an icon in every sense of the word.