The funeral service for the late singer Aretha Franklin is setting up to be a musical masterpiece worthy of the Queen of Soul. Although her family told the Detroit Free Press that only invited guests can attend Friday’s service in person, interested fans will be able to watch it unfold on television or via online streaming.
Franklin, who won 18 Grammy Awards during her six-decade career, died Aug. 16 at age 76. Her funeral will be held in Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. The Motor City is also where she first sang publicly, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.
How to watch, where and when
The procession will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, and the service is set to run at least until 3 p.m.
News networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News will air portions of the service and procession live. The Associated Press will live-stream the service, which then will likely be picked up by other outlets. The Washington Post’s website is just one site that has said it will livestream the event. BET Networks, HLN and the Word network will also show the event, the Free Press reports. CBSN will also stream the event, a CBS representative said. (CBS is CNET’s parent company.) Detroit residents should be able to see the service on most of their local channels.
Those who aren’t near a TV or computer, but have Sirius XM radio, can listen to the service on Sirius XM’s Soul Town channel.
An impressive list of famous names will honor Franklin by speaking at the service. The Washington Post reports that speakers will include former president Bill Clinton, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, actors Tyler Perry and Cicely Tyson, Clive Davis of Sony Music, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, author and professor Michael Eric Dyson and former Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas .While former President Barack Obama won’t attend, the Rev. Al Sharpton will read a letter from Obama and his wife, Michelle.
Musical performers will include Faith Hill, Ariana Grande, the Clark Sisters, the Williams Brothers, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Franklin’s son Edward, Alice McAllister Tillman, Audrey DuBois Harris, Shirley Caesar, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley, Fantasia, Bishop Paul Morton, Yolanda Adams, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holliday and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir.
Planned schedule for the service
The lengthy schedule, as shared by ClickOnDetroit, actually begins a little before 10 am ET Friday, with a musical prelude at 9:30 a.m. and candle lighting at 9:50 a.m.
10:45 a.m.: Faith Hill performance
11:03 a.m.: Ariana Grande performance
11:23 a.m.: Family remembrance by members of the Franklin family
Noon: Remarks by Eric Holder, former US attorney general
12:10 p.m: Remarks by former President Bill Clinton
12:36 p.m.: Chaka Khan performance, followed by Ron Isley performance
12:51 p.m.: Remarks by the Rev. Jesse Jackson
1:10 p.m.: Musical performance by Fantasia Barrino-Taylor
1:15 p.m.: Personal remarks by Tyler Perry, followed by Cicely Tyson, Clive Davis, and Smokey Robinson
1:38 p.m.: Personal remarks by former NBA star Isaiah Thomas
2 p.m.: Performance by Jennifer Hudson
2:05 p.m.: Eulogy by Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., pastor of the Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta
2:35 p.m.: Musical tribute led by Stevie Wonder
2:45 p.m.: Recessional and performance by Jennifer Holliday and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir
Franklin’s body will be carried in the same white 1940 Cadillac LaSalle that was used for the final services of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, as well as civil rights legend Rosa Parks and singer David Ruffin of The Temptations.
She will be laid to rest at Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Other famous people buried there include civil rights legend Rosa Parks, numerous members of the Ford automobile family, J.L. Hudson of department-store fame, Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops and more. Franklin’s father, two sisters and a nephew are also buried at Woodlawn.