Farewell to the Queen of Soul
On August 31st the world said goodbye to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. The funeral was held in Detroit at the Greater Grace Church and was a lavish celebration of this remarkable woman, with celebrities and family members paying their last respects. It truly was a celebration of her life as an artist.
A lavish occasion
The funeral was such a dignified and extravagant occasion. Cadillacs lined the streets outside, while colourful flower arrangements that had been donated by Tony Bennett, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand adorned the reception area. A pink flower arrangement at the front of the church poignantly spelled out ‘A Celebration Fit for the Queen‘.
Celebrities said goodbye
A host of celebrities were among the mourners who paid their respects. They included former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Faith Hill, Ariana Grande, Whoopi Goldberg and Tyler Perry.
A celebration of music
Music featured heavily in the service, with a Gospel choir singing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon & Garfunkel. They also sang ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, along with the more traditional types of gospel songs that are sung at such occasions. Both Faith Hill and Ariana Grande paid their respects by singing and as the service came to an end, guests spontaneously began to dance in celebration of this amazing woman’s musical career.
Exuberant celebrity funerals from the past
Over the last few decades there have many other grand funerals for celebrities who have sadly passed away. Michael Jackson’s funeral was held on 7 July 2009 in Los Angeles at the prominent Staples Center. Guests included Mariah Carey, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Queen Latifah, Stevie Wonder and Usher. Mr. Jackson’s casket was made from solid bronze.
Princess Diana’s funeral took place on April 6, 1997, and a staggering 2.5 billion people watched as her coffin was slowly paraded towards Westminster Abbey. During the service Elton John performed the now iconic ‘Candle in the Wind’.
The funeral of Muhammad Ali in 2016 was an all-faith service. Mourners paid their respects during this private service that was attended by friends, family and celebrities, including Billy Crystal and Bill Clinton.
Everyone deserves a dignified funeral service where loved ones can pay their last respects. You don’t need to be a celebrity to have the funeral of your choosing, most modern Funeral Directors will offer the opportunity to fine tune any of the minor details as you wish.