R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin’s life was celebrated during a star-studded ceremony in Detroit on Friday (Aug. 31).
Family members, friends, and even former presidents turned out to honor the Queen of Soul during the live-streamed, all-day funeral at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple that featured musical tributes from Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Faith Hill, and Ariana Grande.
Dressed in a black mini-skirt, the Sweetener star belted out Franklin’s 1967 classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” as former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and even Grande’s ex Big Sean looked on.
Following the performance, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III admitted that he wasn’t previously familiar with Ariana. “I’ve got to apologize because I have to brush up. My 28-year-old daughter tells me, ‘Dad! You are old at 60,’” he said as Ariana stood alongside him. “When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell.”
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) August 31, 2018
Former President Bill Clinton also praised the Queen of Soul. “We started out, not as a president, a first lady, a senator, a secretary of state. We started out as, like, Aretha groupies or something,” he told the crowd.
Aretha Franklin died on Aug. 16 at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
"We started out, not as a president, a first lady, a senator, a secretary of state. We started out as, like, Aretha groupies or something," former President Bill Clinton tells the crowd at Aretha Franklin's funeral https://t.co/YEggLKDWMK pic.twitter.com/JoePVApC96
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 31, 2018