Aretha Franklin public viewings at Detroit African-American history museum start today



Franklin died from pancreatic cancer on 16 August, aged 76.

Fans queued en masse Tuesday to pay their respects to legendary US singer and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, whose body lay in a golden casket dressed in a ruffled red dress and matching heels in Detroit.

Hundreds lined up before dawn on Tuesday outside the museum, where the body of the late "Queen of Soul" will lie in repose for two days of public viewing. In 1966, Franklin signed with Atlantic Records and began revolutionizing soul music by creating a sound all her own.

Howard said Franklin's niece, Chrystal, heard people were spending the night outside so she stopped by about 1 a.m. with some bottled water and White Castle hamburgers.

Swanson, whose family has been in the funeral services business for 60 years, said they were "honored to be able to help", as they did when Franklin lost her dad. "I loved to play her songs". "She would give gifts to people and do things for them and a lot of times people didn't even know it was her". She cancelled her shows in 2010 to undergo surgery for a tumour. Indeed, a group of women were singing her hit "Freeway of Love".

"Ironically around this time", funeral director O'Neil Swanson II told CNN.

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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"I saw the gold-plated casket - it dawned on me: She's gone, but her legacy and her music will live on forever".

Camille Howard came from Austin, Texas and stood third in line with her sister.

The roses that surround the coffin, Ms Owens said, reflected her love for the flower and her propensity to send arrangements "in grand fashion". "It's very definitive. You can't talk her into it". "She's royalty. She's worth it". "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family".

Organizers tell 7 Action News that it's the flawless way to show the Queen of Soul respect in honor of her death. "Because she touched your soul". It was perhaps the most brilliant single act of pop reinvention in the history of American music, and it made Franklin a star overnight.

With her legs crossed at the ankles, Green said Franklin communicates both power and comfort, as she did in life. "She sent them on birthdays, holidays and special occasions". Mourners said she was dressed in red from head to high-heeled shoes.

A star-studded, private funeral is set for August 31 at 10 Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

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