'Queen of Soul' fans pay their last respects to their favorite singer
Aretha Franklin's fans were able to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul during a public visitation held at her hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Franklin was transported to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History. She drew her last breath on August 16 at the age of 76.
According to the Detroit Free Press, several people were already waiting in line when her body arrived inside a golden casket in a white LaSalle car.
Franklin's body was put on display wearing a "red, lace-trimmed ruffled suit and crimson satin pumps," representing her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
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THE CHOSEN OUTFIT
Sabrina Owens, the singer's niece, said the ensemble was something that Franklin "would have selected for herself," and even worn on stage.
Owens added that such a strong character and music icon should have a proper farewell, one that "would match her legacy," which was why the public visitation was planned.
Reportedly, some of Franklin's fans slept on the sidewalk overnight in hopes of being the first ones to pay their respects. Fans traveled from Las Vegas and Miami as well.
The visitation ran until 9 p.m. and another one will take place on August 29.
Smokey Robinson, who knew Franklin since she was eight years old, said that the vocalist will forever be known as one of the best singers in history.
"There are children who haven’t even been born yet who are going to be made aware of Aretha Franklin, if only through her music," Robinson said.
Robinson took the opportunity to remember her late friend as an activist, how she was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement, and how closely she worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.