Grandchildren honor Aretha Franklin in moving reflections

Pablo Martinez Monsivais  AP FILE

The legendary singer died of advanced pancreatic cancer on August 16 at age 76. "Her voice brought peace", Franklin said. "But they would want us to celebrate their lives because they transitioned from this life to a better one".

Floral arrangements from such singers as Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and from the family of Otis Redding were set up in a hallway outside the sanctuary.

Grandson Jordan directed his remarks directly to Aretha, frequently stopping to fight back tears.

And Victorie Franklin said that "the best feeling in the world" was hearing her grandmother sing.

"I've spent time with (many successful people)", Davis said. "I would always shrug my shoulders and go I don't know. Thank you for believing in me as much as you did".

Former President Bill Clinton was also on hand and sat in the front row with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Among those offering words will be former President Bill Clinton, Jackson and Franklin's friend since childhood, Smokey Robinson.

Clinton elicited laughter and applause as he reflected on his decadeslong friendship with Franklin. "We started out as, like, Aretha Franklin groupies or something". "And there were other people who called us wanting to participate".

Friday's service will touch on Franklin's significance to her friends, family and fans, organizers told CNN. The experience, Lawrence said, demonstrates an important lesson Franklin can teach women.

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At least 100 pink Cadillacs lined up to pay respect to Aretha Franklin on Friday in Detroit outside her funeral service - and the pictures are striking.

The museum also hosted civil rights activist Rosa Parks's viewing in 2005.

Funeral attendees started cheering, and many rose to their feet.

"Aretha never took orders from nobody but God", Sharpton said.

There was no shortage of talent on stage at the service.

The singer performed gospel classic "Goin' Up Yonder" at Aretha Franklin's funeral in Detroit on Friday, and she kept a big blue folding fan within sight the entire time. Fantasia, 34, poured her heart out into her "Precious Lord" tribute so much, the American Idol season three victor kicked off her shoes!

"I've been watching the celebration of your life from everywhere, and I've been doing interviews from everywhere, from all over the world", he said. It features the years of her birth and death, and reads, "RESPECT". Our hearts ache for you and our prayers are with you.

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