Posted by News Express | 29 August 2018 | 1,581 times
Fans lined up overnight to pay their respects to the late Aretha Franklin and got a glimpse of the legendary singer as she lay in her gleaming gold casket wearing a red cocktail dress and matching shiny red stilettos Tuesday.
The music icon died from advanced pancreatic cancer on August 16. She was 76, Dailymail reported.
The Queen of Soul’s body arrived in a shining gold casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in her Detroit, Michigan, hometown on Tuesday morning for the start of her two-day public viewing.
Franklin was transported to the museum in a vintage white LaSalle, passing by as many as 200 of her fans who had slept on the sidewalk and were already lined up to be among the first to pay their respects to the singer.
Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, told The Associated Press Tuesday that she and others who helped plan a public viewing in
Detroit wanted to give the Queen of Soul a send-off that ‘would match her legacy.’
Owens noted that the pastel roses surrounding Franklin’s gold-coloured casket reflected the singer’s love for the flower and her propensity to send arrangements ‘in grand fashion.’ Franklin was dressed in red to symbolize her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Owns said that dress looked like ‘something she would have selected for herself’ to wear on stage.
Franklin’s gospel recordings played in the background as mourners paying their respect approached her casket, pausing as they cried, crossed themselves, bowed their heads or blew kisses to the late singer.
Wright Museum board member Kelly Major Green said the goal was to create an environment akin to a church, reflecting the place where Franklin got her start as a singer.
Franklin’s casket is believed to be the special order Promethean Casket, which retails for $40,000 and is said to be the same style coffin that James Brown and Michael Jackson were buried in. Handcrafted over two weeks, the mirror-finished casket features 24k gold-plated hardware and a velvet interior and is made from 48oz. per square foot of bronze.
While many fans hailed from Detroit, others had travelled in from all around the country for the opportunity to see Franklin while lying in state at the museum, which had previously hosted a similar public viewing for civil rights icon Rosa Parks following her death in 2005.
Melissa Howard, 50, of Austin Texas, said she flew into Detroit the day before Franklin’s public viewing started, so she could ensure that she would be able to get inside the museum and pay her respects to Franklin.
Howard, a fan of Franklin’s since she was a child, told the Detroit Free Press that she arrived on the line at 6.30pm Monday and that Franklin was ‘royalty’ and ‘worth it.’ (AFP)
•Aretha Franklin’s body arrives in a gold casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in her Detroit, Michigan, hometown on Tuesday morning.
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