Superstar-Studded Sendoff for Aretha Franklin at Funeral

aretha franklin funeral, stevie wonder perfom

Getty Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder onstage at the 10th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards in Pasadena in 2005.

According to Aretha Frankin’s longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn, the Queen of Soul’s funeral at Grater Grace Temple on Aug. 31 will include a chorus of heavenly voices with superstars, and Aretha Franklin close friends, artists Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson carrying the legend home. Greater Grace calls Franklin’s funeral her home-going.

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer at age 76 on Aug. 16.

Franklin was raised in a Baptist church and has always been, first and foremost, a gospel singer. Her first record, made in her then-father’s Detroit church New Bethel Baptist when she was just 14, was an album of spirituals.

aretha franklin funeral

Singer Shirley Caesar performs onstage during the 2008 MusiCares person of the year honoring Aretha Franklin.

Also slated to sing at her funeral at Greater Grace Temple, as confirmed by the church’s communications director Kenya Hildreth, will be Shirley Caeser, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday and Franklin’s son, Edward Franklin.

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Chaka Khan performs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute concert honoring Aretha Franklin during the 16th American Music Masters Tribute in 2011.

Aretha’s funeral is slated for Aug. 31.

According to the AP, Franklin’s funeral service will reflect her gospel roots and will also include gospel singers Marvin Sapp, the Clark Sisters and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The Aretha Franklin Orchestra and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir are also on the program, as are singers Audrey DuBois Harris and Alice McAllister Tillman, the AP reported.

And while her funeral is private and limited to family, friends and invited guests, the public can mourn the legend as her body will lay in repose for the public to view from Aug. 28 through Aug. 30 in Detroit.

Her body will lie in honor at New Bethel Baptist Church and at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the days before her funeral.

On Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, the legendary singer’s body will lie in honor for public viewing in the rotunda of the museum from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day. The museum is located at 315 E Warren Ave. in Detroit.

On Aug. 30, Franklin, who was herself a civil rights figure and close friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will lie in repose at New Bethel Baptist where her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin was pastor for decades. The public viewing at New Bethel will be held from 12 noon until 4 p.m.

The following day, Franklin’s funeral, her “home-going,” will be held at Greater Grace Temple, the City of David, which seats more than 4,000. The funeral, slated for 10 a.m. will be private with family, friends and invited guests including dignitaries and celebrities. Heavy will livestream the funeral. It’s reported that the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. of Atlanta will deliver the eulogy.

The Detroit News reported Williams is a “charismatic minister known for his masterful weaving of the teachings of the Bible with social issues was also the eulogist at the funeral of Franklin’s father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, when he died in 1984. His eulogy of Franklin, titled “A Good Soldier,” documented his many contributions to the civil rights movement.”

Her burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery.