Bill Clinton eulogizes Franklin: Hillary and I were 'Aretha groupies'

Aretha Franklin funeral live stream Star's body in gold casket

The Rev. Al Sharpton, in response to President Donald Trump's statement two weeks earlier after Franklin's death that she had worked for him, said: "She performed for you".

Greater Grace Pastor Charles Ellis III began by asking speakers and performers to do their best to stick to the five-minute spots allotted for a lot of them. This is all about Aretha Franklin.

Later, one of Franklin's grandchildren spoke to and of his famous grandmother.

Organizers told CNN the service was to touch on Franklin's significance to her friends, family and fans.

"Ariana Grande baby that's not what you wear to a funeral", one user tweeted, with someone else comparing her outfit to "how you look when you come straight to church after being out at the club". Many also mentioned her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, and his civil rights leadership, which influenced his daughter from a young age.

According to Knight, she and Franklin spent much of their historic careers together.

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Early in the ceremony, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced his intention to propose naming Chene Park, a 5,000-seat waterfront amphitheater, after Franklin, a move that drew huge cheers from those in attendance. "Bless her heart", tweeted one, Tenisha Taylor Bell. She wore a baby blue dress on Wednesday and a rose gold gown for a viewing Thursday at the Detroit church where her father was the longtime pastor.

"She had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of a century", Clinton said, describing himself as a Franklin "groupie" long before he became president.

"She was blessed to have the powerful gift of singing, perhaps the most remarkable voice, and most unique, the world has ever heard". Her oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute, said the 76-year-old singer's official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. An arrangement from singer Sam Moore included a card that read, "You know I always adored and loved you to bits and pieces".

Robinson, the Motown great, remembered first hearing her play piano when he was just 8 and remaining close for the rest of her life, talking for hours at a time. She also listened a great deal to Jim Reeves and the soulful ballads of many African American musicians like Otis Redding and the more dramatic James Brown. Franklin sang for Nelson Mandela in Detroit after he was released from prison.

CORLEY: There was a who's who with big names in music, sports and politics - The Clark Sisters, Ariana Grande, former basketball star Isiah Thomas and former President Bill Clinton. She entertained for presidents, royalty and eulogized fallen icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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