Obamas send a letter to be read during the service amid missing Aretha Franklin's funeral

Junie Sihlangu
Aug 30, 2018
11:31 A.M.

Former US President Barack Obama was expected to attend Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday. However, reports have since revealed that he won’t make it.


Instead, he and his wife, Michelle Obama, have written a letter that will be read at the Detroit funeral. According to The Detroit Free Press, the news was announced by their spokesperson.

Aretha Franklin, 76, passed away on August 16 of pancreatic cancer. She had the pleasure of having a long and fruitful history with many US presidents.

In 2009, she famously sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at former President Barack Obama's inauguration. Her voice also moved him to tears at the Kennedy Center Honors Awards in 2015.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Yet, Barack and his wife, Michelle Obama, won’t be able to make it to her funeral on Friday.

On Wednesday, their spokeswoman Katie Hill confirmed the news saying, “Unfortunately, President and Mrs. Obama will not be able to attend Aretha Franklin’s services on Friday, but they have sent a letter, which the Rev. Al Sharpton will be reading during the service.”


Barack is set to give a eulogy along with former President George W. Bush on Saturday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for the late Senator John McCain. The Arizona Republican passed away on August 25.

Bush has also sent a letter to be read at Franklin's funeral service. The two former presidents weren’t the only ones that Franklin had the pleasure of knowing.


In 1977, the Queen of Soul sang at President Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala. She also performed at former President Bill Clinton's inaugural ceremony in 1993 as well.

In May 1999, Franklin performed for Clinton at the White House Correspondents Association's annual dinner. Later that year, he awarded her with the National Medal of Arts and Humanities during a White House ceremony.

She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Clinton will honor her by being one of the speakers at her funeral, as will former Attorney General Eric Holder.

It’s not yet clear whether President Donald Trump or First Lady Melania Trump will attend Franklin’s funeral.

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