Smokey Robinson pays tribute to friend Aretha Franklin

Smokey Robinson pays tribute to friend Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul got the ultimate royal send-off Friday with a marathon funeral featuring moving performances and heartfelt tributes by a who's who of Hollywood.

The funeral is the capstone on what has been a long national celebration and mourning of her huge legacy and talent.

The diva's glossy, gold casket caught a glint of sunlight as it was hauled inside and placed front and center of the church for the more than six-hour fete. "It was more like us supporting each other", she recalled of their rise to fame.

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

He led them in a prayer of thanks for Aretha and her minister father, asking that god make all in the church "better, not bitter, " by the time the day is over. "It's just my grandma", she said. "We will have never known a Queen like this; we will have never known the joy she gave to us", Wonder said. You felt every word, every note, every emotion in the songs she sang.

Robinson then sang his song, "Really Gonna Miss You". "Her voice brought peace".

Hill was one of many music superstars who assembled at the Greater Grace Temple in Franklin's hometown of Detroit today (Aug. 31).

Jackson praised Franklin for being a civil-rights leader and used her legacy as a way to encourage people to get out and vote.

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The formal part of the service stretching almost eight hours, the celebration of the life and legacy of the United States icon was packed with gospel, eulogies, music and sermons. "Long lines at the death of the icons and short lines for voting, something is missing", he noted.

Grande performed Franklin's hit "Natural Woman" - but her performance was overshadowed by a moment from Bill Clinton that has gone viral online.

Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Holliday and Ron Isley also performed.

Jackson said "Aretha's not lost, we know where she is". "You better cash that check in!'"

"I want y'all to help me correct President Trump, to teach him what [respect] means", Sharpton said to a standing ovation. Instead of, you know, grabbing an aux cord or using AirPlay, the former president ... pressed play and held his iPhone up to the microphone. So guess we can say Bill might be a Grande Stan. President Trump and the first lady did not attend. John McCain on Saturday.

"It's better than Inauguration Day!" said Theresa Cranford, 62, a retired auto worker, in reference to Barack Obama's investiture. "In all of its hope and heart, its boldness and its unmistakable beauty", wrote Obama.

Gospel stars Marvin Sapp and Vanessa Bell Armstrong are also slated to make appearances at the funeral, as well as the Aretha Franklin Choir and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir. "'I wanna see what the girl is carrying out.'" Franklin, had an outfit change between the public viewings of her body and the funeral: she's now wearing a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels to the funeral, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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