Fans mourn Aretha Franklin at gospel-infused public viewing

Fans mourn Aretha Franklin at gospel-infused public viewing

Fans mourn Aretha Franklin at gospel-infused public viewing

It's hard to separate the singer from the city, so you better think that her town is saying farewell in royal fashion to its Queen of Soul, with a concert, public viewings and a funeral that's expected to be attended by at least one former president, civil rights leaders and many other musical luminaries.

The body of the legendary singer was to lie in honor for public visitation Tuesday and Wednesday at the museum.

The funeral home providing services for Franklin said she used to pay for funerals for families in need, calling the home to offer help - "usually in full without being asked or prompted to do so", Linda Swanson, executive vice president of Swanson Funeral Home, told The Associated Press.

Franklin passed away at the age of 76 following a prolonged illness on August 16 at her residence in Detroit.

On Monday, the city of Detroit began a week-long celebration of the life of the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

The singer's casket is surrounded by roses of different bright colors while her gospel songs play in the background.

For all the formality, however, Owens says the viewings are meant to be welcoming and accessible for her legions of fans.

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Tammy Gibson, 49, of Chicago said she arrived about 5:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, white-gloved pallbearers escorted her gold casket into the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History, where local media reported that people camped out through the night to pay their respects.

The museum hosted a similar viewing for civil rights icon Rosa Parks after her 2005 death. "Numerous people you see are here because they were blessed by her big heart and her desire to reach beyond the boundaries of her own success and touch others".

"It was nothing for Miss Franklin to call us", she said.

"When we were little girls, we would all dress up a little and sing her songs in the living room", said Teresa Massey Walker, 48, who came from Buffalo, N.Y., to pay her respects.

Franklin won 18 Grammy awards and provided a soundtrack to the civil rights movement, singing for free to raise money for the cause and uplifting activists with her phenomenal voice and upbeat anthems.

"I've never been to Detroit before", Camille Howard said.

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