Aretha Franklin had admirers all over the world, but she made Detroit her home.
Franklin, known as the "Queen of Soul", died August 16 at the age of 76 at her home in Detroit after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Grande will be among entertainers Steve Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Faith Hill, Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan and more. "Her unrivaled singing voice helped her create timeless hits like "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" on her way to being rightfully crowned as the Queen of Soul. Thursday night, a concert in her honor was held in downtown Detroit. However, a public ceremony was supposed to start at 10 a.m. immediately afterward so that her devoted fans can participate, as well. "I think it's going to be a very jubilant service", Bishop Charles Ellis, the officiating pastor, said this week.
Her casket has been carried this week by a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse that also took Franklin's father, legendary minister CL Franklin, and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks to their final resting places at Woodlawn Cemetery, where the singer will join them.
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Her signature song, a feminist anthem, became a rallying cry as African-Americans rose up nationwide in the 1960s to fight peacefully for racial equality.
Dancing, excitedly taking selfies and filming parts of the concert on their cell phones, the evening was a chance for Detroit to celebrate the life and legacy of a towering figure regarded as local royalty.
The presence of Hollywood stars like Tyler Perry and Cicely Tyson, who will also speak, are a nod to Franklin's contributions on screen and off in films like "The Blues Brothers". Robinson and Franklin grew up together in Detroit. She was dressed in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels for her final outfit - the fourth outfit Franklin has worn during a week of events leading up to her funeral. "We were just cool all of our lives, and we stayed in contact, and we talked all the time up until she was no longer able to do that a few weeks ago", Robinson said on CNN.