When the "Respect" singer passed away due to pancreatic cancer on August 16, Jennifer took to social media to express her grief. Knight's performance comes just hours after she made headlines for seemingly revealing she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
After the funeral, Franklin will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, along with her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin; brother Cecil Franklin; sisters Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin; and nephew, Thomas Garrett.
The crowd at Franklin's funeral cheered, with some people standing up.
Guests at the Greater Grace Temple included former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. "She worked for us". "She took the gift God gave her and she kept getting a little bigger everyday", said Clinton, playing a snatch of her singing "Think" on his cell phone.
"It's the key to freedom". Gospel music and opera filled the rafters, congregants danced and one of her sons sang "Mercy Mercy Me". Large bouquets of pink, lavender, yellow and white flowers flanked her casket. Aretha's very own son, Edward Franklin, is also slated to perform at the event. "Long live the Queen".
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"This is something that I'll be in history", she told AFP. "I have no words, so I will let the Queen say it!"
"I remember when I was a kid people used to always ask me what does it feel like to be Aretha Franklin's granddaughter?"
Ranked the best singer of all time by Rolling Stone in 2008, Franklin received many accolades over the years. For African American women in particular, she was a role model and a benchmark for success, feminism and empowerment. Since Franklin's death, Owens said a close group she described as "Aretha's angels" have "worked tirelessly" and have been guided by a single question: "What would Aretha want?"
They filed past and paid their respects at Franklin's open casket, where they saw her wearing a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels - her fourth and final outfit of the week.
The daughter of a prominent Baptist preacher and civil rights activist, she sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the inaugurations of presidents Clinton and Obama.