Epic send-off for the Queen of Soul

Aretha has returned home

Aretha has returned home

Aretha Franklin performs in concert at Radio City Music Hall on February 18, 2012, in NY.

Bishop Charles Ellis III of Greater Grace knows well the boldface guest list and surrounding pomp and circumstance, but he has a higher mission in mind. I grew very fond of what has become my favorite Aretha Franklin's song to date.

Among the stunning and powerful performances was her dear friend Stevie Wonder offering comfort with his song.

Franklin's sons filed a document several days after her death, listing themselves as interested parties in her estate, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Singing a Franklin classic in front of the late icon's family and friends was no doubt a daunting task, but Grande handled it with grace, keeping her usual verbal gymnastics in check to deliver a handsome, faithful rendition.

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Though beloved by the world, Franklin was even more adored by her family.

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.

One of Franklin's most iconic performances was at Obama's 2009 inauguration, where she sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee".

In a statement read by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, Mr Obama said the singer was "truly one of a kind" and her music "captured some of our deepest human desires, namely affection and respect". Franklin's burial site is at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit alongside her Baptist minister father C.L. Franklin.

The multi-day celebration ending in Aretha Franklin's funeral on Friday is over.

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Her final send-off involved 100 pink Cadillacs, a gold-plated coffin, three presidential tributes and eulogies by more than a dozen preachers.

Speaking with TMZ Friday night, Gladys said, "I'd like to clarify that Aretha and I discussed both of us having cancer, mine was stage 1 breast cancer and hers was pancreatic".

"She made important and lasting contributions to American music with her gospel-inspired style and distinctive voice", Barbara Sampson read on Bush's behalf.

The Rev. JoAnn Watson, a close friend, said Franklin was especially devoted and generous to her hometown.

"You're going to be one of the future voices in the choir of angels", he added, before breaking into an a capella rendition of his ballad Really Gonna Miss You. The Aretha Franklin Orchestra performed a medley featuring I Say a Little Prayer, Angel, and other songs she was known for, along with such gospel numbers as I Love the Lord and Walk in the Light.

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Former president Bill Clinton joked that he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were "Aretha groupies". The Rev. Jesse Jackson recalled Franklin raising money for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and urged attendees to honor her memory by registering to vote.

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