Aretha Franklin funeral set for site where Rosa Parks memorialized

Corrections clarifications: An earlier version of this report had an incorrect date for the funeral, based on information from a source. 

Aretha Franklin’s funeral services will span four days, with two public viewings available to her fans and community. Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson are among the many stars slated to honor Franklin with performances at the memorial events. Here’s everything you need to know about plans to lay the Queen of Soul to rest.

Two public viewings

Franklin will lie in state in two locations. The first viewing will take place at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History from Aug. 28-29. The viewing will run 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.

A second public viewing at Franklin’s lifelong church was announced on Monday. Franklin’s body will lie in honor at New Bethel Baptist Church on Aug. 30.

New Bethel, founded by her father, the late Rev. C.L. Franklin, will host its viewing from noon to 4 p.m. on Aug. 30, a family spokesperson told the Free Press on Monday. The New Bethel viewing was added to help members of the congregation who may face difficulty attending the bigger museum event. 

Franklin grew up singing at New Bethel – originally housed at a different site – and remained close to the church through the years, holding gospel concerts and donating to its fund. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a longtime friend of Aretha Franklin’s, spoke at the church’s services on Sunday.

A free, public concert

Aretha Franklin’s life and musical legacy will be celebrated with a free concert at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheatre on Aug. 30. The show is expected to include prominent celebrities and performers, but specific artists have not been announced. 

The concert, spearheaded by Franklin’s family, is tapping artists largely from the RB and gospel world. More performers are expected to be confirmed as the concert approaches.

There is no information yet about a ticketing or admission process for the free concert.

More: Aretha Franklin tribute concert planned in Detroit

A private funeral

Franklin will be laid to rest at Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery following an Aug. 31 funeral at Greater Grace Temple, her family told the Detroit Free Press. 

Franklin’s family emphasized that the singer’s funeral is a private event. Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan and Jennifer Hudson are among the singers who will perform at the Aug. 31 service with 19 performers scheduled. 

Former President Bill Clinton is among a list of high-profile speakers scheduled for the funeral. Other speakers will include former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Motown star and lifelong Franklin friend Smokey Robinson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and record mogul Clive Davis.

Aretha Franklin funeral: Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson among 19 performers

More: Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson among speakers at Aretha’s funeral

Greater Grace, which seats about 4,000, has been the site of funerals for many notable Detroit figures, including Rosa Parks, Marcus Belgrave and the Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs.

The funeral, at 10 a.m. Aug. 31, will be limited to family members, friends and selected guests and is expected to draw dignitaries, musicians and other high-profile figures from around the world.

Franklin will be entombed alongside late family members, including her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin; her brother, Cecil Franklin; her sisters, Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin; and nephew Thomas Garrett. 

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