Aretha Franklin's funeral is honoring the Queen of Soul with pink Cadillacs and musical tributes galore.
Franklin, who died earlier this month at age 76, is being celebrated Friday in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Mourners have visited the legendary singer at several public viewings this week, including at a Detroit church where her father was a pastor.
Her body arrived at the Greater Grace Temple in a white hearse and gold-plated casket, reports The Associated Press, dressed in a sparkling gold gown and sequined heels. Guests rolled in for the event with signature Franklin style, arriving in 130 pink Cadillacs, a tribute to her song "Freeway of Love."
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The funeral, which her family has called a "celebration of life," is scheduled to run into the afternoon, with a six-hour service that will feature performances from Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Chaka Khan, and many other musicians. Attendees applauded as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entered the church; the former president will speak, along with Rev. Jesse Jackson and singer Smokey Robinson.
CNN reports that lavish floral arrangements from friends of Franklin's, like Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross, filled the church lobby. The walls of the church, meanwhile, featured a nod to Franklin's enduring legacy with a projection that read "A Celebration Fit for the Queen." Watch a livestream of the event here at The Week. Summer Meza
In 2015, when Stephen Colbert was hosting the Kennedy Center tribute to Carole King, Aretha Franklin sang King's "Natural Woman" just a few feet away from him, Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show, paying his respects to Franklin, who died Thursday. "And as she started, I said to the man standing next to me, one of the stagehands, I said, 'Man, I wish I could have seen her when she was younger, when she was in full voice.' And boy am I stupid. Because this is what happened."
"There is no queen of soul right now, and she can never be replaced," Colbert said. Aretha Franklin is certainly a hard act to follow, but on The Tonight Show, Ariana Grande paid tribute to Franklin by singing the same song with The Roots.
If that seems unfair to Grande, Trevor Noah sang a few bars of "Natural Woman" during his Daily Show between-the-scenes homage to Franklin, too, explaining how he'd sing the song as a kid in South Africa before he really understood that he was singing about being a woman. Then he talked a bit about Franklin's life and legacy and grit. Watch below. Peter Weber