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Aretha Franklin, the beloved Queen of Soul, is being put to rest this week, according to CNN. The iconic singer, often praised as one of the best voices of all time, passed away on August 16 at the age of 76, with reports later confirming her death was due to her battle with pancreatic cancer.
While Franklin became a global sensation, rising to fame in the 60s with colossal and culturally impactful hits such as "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," she never forgot about her roots in Detroit. As such, the Motor City is expected to host thousands and thousands of fans during a week of mourning and tribute, reports BBC. Beginning today (August 28) through tomorrow only, fans can pay their respects in person at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. According to the Detroit Free Press, hundreds spent the night on the sidewalk in order to ensure their opportunity to not miss out on the open-casket visitations.
According to reports, the late soul singer's body was transported to the museum in a 1940 white Cadillac LaSalle hearse, as people lined the streets and began spontaneously bursting out in renditions of their favorite Aretha songs, a theme that would aptly continue throughout the day.
After the public viewing hours conclude at 9 p.m. today, there will be a private final rites ceremony held by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which will be open only to the organization's members and members of the Franklin family. Public viewing will continue on Wednesday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), and on Thursday, a public tribute concert will begin at 6 p.m. in Detroit.
On Friday, a private funeral service will take place in Detroit, during which speakers such as former President Bill Clinton, Michigan governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Smokey Robinson, Clive Davis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Cicely Tyson, among others, will offer their condolences and share their own remarks in memoriam.
Additionally, the ceremony will feature a selection of live music performances, including from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Ronald Isley, Fantasia and Yolanda Adams.
For those interested in viewing the private funeral service, the Associated Press will be livestreaming the ceremony for online viewers. The ceremony will also air in full on a variety of local Detroit stations, as well as will be partially broadcasted live on CNN and Fox News.
Long live Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.
Note: This post will be updated once a link for the livestream is made available.