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Home / Entertainment / Aretha Franklin Funeral: A big farewell with songs, Cadillacs and tears

Aretha Franklin Funeral: A big farewell with songs, Cadillacs and tears



Along with President Clinton and Mr. Robinson, Tyler Perry and Clive Davis should be among the speakers.

[ Never miss a pop music story: Sign up for our weekly newsletter Louder. ] [19659002] The funeral was the culmination of almost a week of celebrations. On Tuesday and Wednesday, thousands of people in front of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History took a quick look at Mrs. Franklin's body, which was first in cherry red and then powder-blue the next day. On Friday Mrs. Franklin was dressed in a gilded brass coffin in a cream-colored gown with golden sequins. Her high-heeled shoes were also golden with sequins and bright red soles.

Many of those who participated also wore magnificent clothes, some with fascinators on their heads. Their arrival was marked by hundreds of people standing behind barricades outside. Henry Elders, 55, was holding a sign saying "Aretha Made America Great Again." His wife, Jenna Elders, said she was as in love with Ms. Franklin's fashion sense as her music.

"This was a woman who had style, great style," she said.

Although the entrance to the service was supposedly just an invitation, the organizers ultimately allowed about 1,000 fans to line up for hours. A block away, several hundred fans watched the proceedings on a huge outer wall that the church had set up in the parking lot of a petrol station.

Author and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson, who attended the funeral, said outside of that, that Mrs. Franklin's connection to humans was built on more than that fabulous voice. "She represented a tradition of soul music," he said, "which really penetrated deep into the roots of the gospel to tell the world the torments, the ecstasies, the joy, the sadness of what it means to be a woman, one black woman, a woman who fought for self-definition and humanity in a culture that refused to acknowledge our existence. "


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