Aretha Franklin Funeral: Stars, Dignitaries and Fans Honor the ‘Queen of Soul’

Among the other speakers were Tyler Perry, who joked that his father could tell his mother’s mood by what kind of Aretha song was playing when he got home, and Clive Davis, the music producer, who discussed plotting her career when he signed her to his label, Arista Records, in 1979, a low point for her.

“We were determined to show all musicians how long a career could last,” Mr. Davis said.

The funeral was the culmination of almost a week of events. On Tuesday and Wednesday, crowds of thousands waited for hours outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for a brief glimpse of Ms. Franklin’s body. On Thursday, another viewing was held at the New Bethel Baptist Church, where a young Ms. Franklin had performed in the congregation of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. And on Thursday night, the Four Tops, Johnny Gill and others sang in a free “People’s Tribute” concert.

Recalling a woman of style

Ms. Franklin’s outfits changed for each of the viewings. First, she wore cherry red, then, powder blue and, finally, rose gold. On Friday, Ms. Franklin, in a gold-plated brass coffin, was dressed in a gold-sequined gown and matching sequined Christian Louboutin heels with the signature bright-red soles.

Many of those who attended also wore sparkling attire, some with fascinators on their heads. Their arrival was marked by hundreds of people who stood outside behind barricades. Henry Elders, 55, held a sign that read, “Aretha Made America Great Again.” His wife, Jenna Elders, said she was as enamored with Ms. Franklin’s fashion sense as her music.

“This was a woman who had style, big style,” she said.

Though entry to the service had been reported to be invitation-only, organizers ultimately allowed in about 1,000 fans who had waited in line for hours.

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