Stevie Wonder Closes Aretha Funeral With Moving Performance

Aretha Franklin funeral live stream Star's body in gold casket

A person holds a program during the funeral service for Aretha Franklin.

Greater Grace Pastor Charles Ellis III began by asking speakers and performers to do their best to stick to the five-minute spots allotted for a lot of them. I grew very fond of what has become my favorite Aretha Franklin's song to date.

Jordan Franklin, left, pauses alongside his sister Victorie Franklin while speaking about their grandmother, Aretha Franklin, during the funeral service for the legendary singer at Greater Grace Temple, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Detroit.

Some fans were admitted into the church to sit behind Franklin's family.

"You're so special", he said, before crooning a few lines from his song "Really Gonna Miss You", with the line "really gonna be different without you".

Franklin's coffin has been carried this week by a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse that also took her father, revered minister C.L. Franklin, and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, to their final resting places at Woodlawn Cemetery, where the singer will also be laid to rest.

Singing a Franklin classic in front of the late icon's family and friends was no doubt a daunting task, but Grande handled it with grace, keeping her usual verbal gymnastics in check to deliver a attractive, faithful rendition. "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds".

The mayor brought the crowd to its feet when he announced a plan to rename the popular Chene Park for Franklin. Among her top hits, "Think" is the only one that she composed. "I love her. She was my longest friend". Franklin made her first recordings at age 14 in her father's church in Detroit.

Aretha's body has been on display in a gold coffin at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit for two days ahead of her funeral.

"There are often people who are marginalized or cut out - maybe they're family members, maybe they're friends, maybe they're anybody who might feel that 'Well, I deserve a share of her estate.' There could be litigation even if she had an estate plan in place", Shaheen Imami, a shareholder at Prince Law Firm in MI, told People.

"I just loved her", he said.

Clinton said Franklin "lived with power".

One wrote: "I'm sorry you had to do through something uncomfortable like that!"

STEVIE WONDER: (Singing) 'Cause I'll be loving you always, always, always, always.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican, spoke about the six-term senator, at his request.

Actress Cicely Tyson reworked the Paul Laurence Dunbar poem "When Malindy Sings" to "When Aretha Sings".

The forecourt fell silent as former president Bill Clinton began to speak. Some other performers counted Aretha Franklin as a friend and colleague for many decades, like Stevie Wonder.

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