Aretha Franklin's funeral is a fittingly glamorous 'celebration of life'

The casket of Aretha Franklin arrives at the Greater Grace Temple in advance of her funeral.
(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

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."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
See more

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.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Summer Meza

Summer is news editor at, and has previously written for Newsweek and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Santa Clara University, she now lives in New York with two cats.