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Loaded into a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse, Franklin's body was transported to an invite-only private viewing scheduled to take place on Thursday (Aug. 30).

After a series of wardrobe changes for the departed singer as her body laid in repose in Detroit, she was dressed in a bright gold dress and sequined heels for her burial on Friday.

Massive crowds lined up outside the church, hoping for the chance to pay their respects and take their seats among the star-studded funeral-goers that included Franklin's fellow musicians, famous actors, religious leaders and a former US President.

After the funeral, Franklin will be buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, alongside late family members including her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin.

Celebrities in attendance include Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Ariana Grande while Bill Clinton, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Smokey Robinson were among the speakers paying tribute. Robinson and Franklin grew up together in Detroit. Yet the Queen of Soul's final send-off certainly will encompass many elements, emotions and grand entrances that were hallmarks of her more than six decades on sacred and secular stages.

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'From a young age, Aretha Franklin rocked the world of anyone who had the pleasure of hearing her voice.

He continued, " While the music she made captured some of our deepest human desires, namely affection and respect, and through her voice, her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions, empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love".

Although Franklin sang at former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, he and former first lady Michelle Obama won't be in Detroit for the funeral.

The Rev Charles Ellis III, who commenced the events on Friday morning, said that despite the award glittering guest list, he had a higher mission in mind for a service that was expected to exceed five hours. No, she performed for you, ' he said as the audience got to their feet and clapped. "I love her. She was my longest friend".

He added: "And hopefully, a lot of people here with money and fame and influence and friends and notoriety and wealth, hopefully they will think of their mortality and say there is something bigger than fame".


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