DETROIT — The Latest on a viewing of Aretha Franklin Thursday at the church where she got her father preached and she started singing gospel (all times local):
Aretha Franklin’s body has arrived for a viewing at the Detroit church where she got her start as a gospel singer.
Crowds chanted Franklin’s nickname “Ree Ree!” and “Let the Queen through!” as Franklin’s body arrived in a 1940s hearse and was taken into the sanctuary.
Hundreds of fans gathered outside the church for Thursday’s viewing at New Bethel Baptist Church, where Franklin’s father was the longtime pastor and she learned the gospel fundamentals that would make her a soul institution.
The viewing follows two days of public viewings at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History that attracted thousands of fans and mourners from around the country.
Franklin’s invitation-only funeral will be held Friday at the Greater Grace Temple, one of the largest and most famous churches in the city.
Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, belonged to her God, her city and her community, and the cultural institutions she loved have been on full display in the celebration of her life leading up to her homegoing services on Friday.
More than two dozen ministers, performers both secular and gospel, along with black entertainers, athletes and civil rights activists make up a who’s who list of black America that will pay tribute to Franklin in a marathon service scheduled to last at least five hours.
The institutions she loved so much, including the black church, her sorority and civil rights, have been on full display. Her funeral Friday features elements from these areas of black life, and will be a final balm from Franklin to those who mourn her.
Aretha Franklin’s body has been transported from a Detroit museum that hosted two days of public viewings of the Queen of Soul, the next step in a journey leading up to her funeral on Friday.
Workers carefully moved Franklin’s polished bronze casket from the rotunda of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and loaded it in to a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse.
Journalists from The Associated Press were allowed to document the casket’s movement Wednesday night after the public viewing concluded. Wednesday’s viewing attracted thousands of fans and mourners and was the last chance for the public to directly pay their respects to the late Queen of Soul.
Franklin’s invitation-only funeral will be held Friday at the Greater Grace Temple.