No matter how big her star had gotten or how legendary she was- Ms. Franklin still made Detroit her home base.
For the entire week, people have come out in droves to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul. Enormous eye-catching murals of Ms. Franklin have been popping up all over the city, you can hear her music blaring from car speakers as they pass by and I can’t begin to count how many Aretha t-shirts I have seen being worn as badges of honor.
And like any other queen, she has lain in repose for three public viewings this week. The first two days at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and on the final day, at her father’s church, New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.
Even in the afterlife, Detroit’s diva had four wardrobe changes. Would you expect anything less?
On the first day she was decked out in a bright red lace dress with matching patent leather Christian Louboutin 5-inch heels.
Aretha Franklin laid out in gold-plated coffin and high-heels https://t.co/fQopl6EQOa
— Irish Times World (@IrishTimesWorld) August 28, 2018
Close family say, Ms. Franklin was dressed in red to symbolize her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. The legend was honored by her sorority sisters with a special Omega Omega service Tuesday evening. For her next wardrobe change the Queen donned a powder blue ensemble. On Thursday she wore rose gold and for her final outfit on Friday, The Queen was draped in a sparkling gold gown with pink accents. She looked perfect- almost as if she was taking a nap before a performance.
The line wrapped around the outside of the museum as fans waited patiently to get one last glimpse of the Queen before she goes to her final resting place. One man ran up to me and asked, “How is she looking? I rushed down here so I could see her.”
All ages were present. People danced in line recounting memories of the first time they heard her sing. Venders sold t-shirts, memorabilia, and books about her life, and some came dressed like her.
“Aretha was my girl. She stood up for herself and didn’t take no mess,”
Brenda Stanley said while buying an Aretha Franklin greatest hits album from a street vendor. “I felt like I had a special connection with her. She was one of a kind.”
With a voice that was deemed a natural resource by the State of Michigan, and a national treasure by many, Aretha Franklin honed her gift singing gospel as a child at New Bethel Baptist Church.
Before the age of 25, she gained commercial success with iconic hits like Respect, Chain of Fools, Think, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and more.
The first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Ms. Franklin garnered 18 Grammy Awards, three NAACP Image Awards and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the span of her illustrious career.
Laying A Queen to Rest Pink Cadillac owners lined the streets to pay tribute to the Queen as Hollywood’s elite, family, friends and die-hard fans arrived at Greater Grace Temple Friday morning, to say good-bye one last time.
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) August 31, 2018
There will be musical tributes from Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Holliday.
Scheduled Remarks from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson former President Bill Clinton, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, T.D. Jakes and Rev. Jess Jackson will highlight her role in the civil rights movement.
Present in the audience is Hillary Clinton, Tyler Perry, Smokey Robinson, the cast of the OWN Network hit show, The Have and the Have Nots, Cicely Tyson, business mogul, Dan Gilbert, TV personality Shaun Robinson and Roland Martin.
A surprise no one expected during the service, Mayor Duggan announced that Chene Park will be renamed Aretha Franklin Park. The crowd erupted in applause and cheers.
A homegoing fit for a Queen, but not just any Queen, she was Our Queen. Ms. Franklin’s legacy will forever be imprinted in music history and her songs will forever stay in our hearts. Long live the Queen!
Kyla’s family and friends describe her as a walking Encyclopedia when it comes to everything pop culture, beauty, fitness and fashion. Kyla knew she wanted to be a writer when she began writing short stories and poems for her family. A true Michigander at heart, Kyla graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in journalism and attended Specs Howard School of Media Arts. Along the way, she has interviewed everyone from, Idris Elba, Kerry Washington, Jack Kevorkian, Robert Kennedy Jr., Joel Osteen, Russell Simmons and Wiz Khalifa. After a stint working at a psychic shop and producing shows for an all talk radio station on iHeartRadio, Kyla landed at The Detroit News, working as an editorial assistant and reporter. She worked at PBS Detroit, as a social media manager before joining the Urban Content Studios team. When she is not writing, Kyla likes to spend time with family, shop and compete in fitness bikini competitions.