Aretha Franklin's star-studded funeral gets underway

U.S. pop sensation Ariana Grande, 25, delivered a moving rendition of Aretha's iconic 1967 hit You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.

Having sung at the inaugurations of three presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Franklin was an American institution, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President George W. Bush in 2005. The Pink Cadillacs outside refer to a Franklin hit from the 1980s, "Freeway of Love".

"Thank you for Aretha: She charmed us, she thrilled us, she entertained us, she inspired us, she motivated us, she helped us, she blessed us, one and all".

Bishop Charles Ellis, the officiating pastor, has promised an upbeat and jubilant service that will be all about Franklin, uplifting her family in their time of grief and celebrating her gospel legacy.

Those who line the route get a special perk: The driver of the Caddy and one extra person will be admitted to the funeral. An arrangement from singer Sam Moore included a card that read, "You know I always adored and loved you to bits and pieces".

They are a nod to her 1985 hit "Freeway of Love", an anthem to her Motor City hometown, in which Franklin sang about a pink Cadillac, the auto company that was founded in Detroit in 1902.


Hill's alternately screechy and flat performance instantly ignited a Twitter firestorm, with many roasters employing Franklin's famously shady "great gowns" remark about another blond country singer, Taylor Swift, to snarkily criticize Hill's attempt to do the traditional Christian hymn justice.

Jackson said if anyone who leaves the funeral and isn't registered to vote "dishonors Aretha". She heard I was there and she summoned me back. "I love her. She was my longest friend". "Not without fear, but overcoming her fears", Clinton said of the "Respect" singer.

Another music legend, Gladys Knight, is revealing she's battling pancreatic cancer. and Gladys says she and her friend Aretha Franklin discussed it the last time they spoke.

"And I say that because when word went out that Ms. Franklin passed, Trump said, 'She used to work for me.' No, she used to perform for you".

"This woman got us all in these seats here today not because she had this breathtaking talent, which she did... but because she lived with courage - not without fear, but overcoming her fears".


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