Thousands gathered in Detroit to say farewell to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in a three hour ceremony dedicated to her life and legacy. The event included performances from Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson, and speeches from former President Bill Clinton, as well as civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and actress Cicely Tyson.
People who attended Aretha Franklin’s wake stood in line for hours to have a glimpse of her one last time. It’s times like these we see the power of an individual to impact people’s lives.
Outside, the Cadillac company flooded the Detroit streets with 130 pink Cadillacs as a tribute to Aretha and her iconic, billboard topping song “Freeway of Love,” in which she sings about cruising in a pink Cadillac.
And across the pond, the Queen of England paid her respect to Aretha Franklin as well. During Buckingham Palace’s famous changing of the guard, the Band of the Welsh Guards, which provides music during the ceremony, took the moment to honor her and played “Respect.”
“In the Army Respect for others underpins all that we do, so there was only one tune that would do for today’s ceremony: the 1967 Aretha Franklin hit ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,’ a declaration from a strong confident woman who knows that she has everything.”
Spectators who gathered to watch the Coldstream Guards regiment perform the changing of the guard ceremony Friday morning cheered and applauded the song made famous by Franklin — whom the band called a “huge influence and inspiration to our musicians.”
The tribute to Aretha Franklin had many laughing, crying, singing and dancing. And we know that while Aretha Franklin may be gone, she will never be forgotten.