Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Aretha Franklin: Thousands Honor the Queen of Soul at Emotional Public Viewing [VIDEO]

*Hundreds lined up at a Detroit museum on Tuesday to honor the late Aretha Franklin, as the music icon’s open casket will be on public display this week.

Officials at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History made mourners put away their cell phones before viewing the “Respect” singer, who was decked out head-to-toe in all red, in a glossy gold casket that emerged from a white 1941 Lasalle, Page Six reports. It was inscribed inside with “The Queen of Soul” in small gold letters — was surrounded by soft-pink and lavender-colored roses. Multiple life-sized posters of her flanked the entrance and exit of the building.

According to the outlet, mourners quietly streamed passed her casket, some moved to tears.

“She is just iconic — her lifestyle, the way she loved and treated individuals, and she always remained down to earth,” said Mary Jones, who wore an “I Aretha” t-shirt and made the four-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio, with three pals. “It’s unreal that I’m going to get to say goodbye to her now. It’s amazing.”

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Some fans camped out overnight to catch a glimpse of the Queen of Soul” — who died from pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16 at the age of 76.

“There will never be another Aretha,” said Melissa Howard, 50, from Austin, Texas, who waited overnight. “She was a community leader who is a staple in our lives.”

Cynthia Dailey, 60, who flew in from Jacksonville, Fla, noted: “There’s an empty hole for us. It’s like losing a family member. She meant everything to us.”

Even a funeral worker from Swanson Funeral Home choked up at the mere sight of the crowd.

“I’m a little emotional,” said Brian Darget. “It was beautiful. It’s amazing to see this many fans.”

“Aretha has done so much for us in her life,” said 87-year-old Mary Eatmon. “All we can do is praise her now.”

Franklin’s body will lie in repose Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Her family-only funeral will reportedly be held Aug. 31 and live-streamed from the Greater Grace Temple, also in Detroit.

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