by G. Brown
At Buckingham Palace, no ordinary Changing of the Guard, but instead the Band of Welsh Guards performed Aretha Franklin’s hit song “Respect”…
Respect for others underpins all we do in the @BritishArmy so it was no surprise that the @WelshGuardsBand paid tribute to musical icon and inspiration #ArethaFranklin at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace today. @RoyalFamily #ArethaFranklinFuneral #RESPECT pic.twitter.com/ho7fvjEuMh
— The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) August 31, 2018
A tribute befitting a queen that echoed across the pond to heavy hearts of fans and family who filled Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple to funeralize the iconic singer.
A caravan of pink cadillacs glided through streets of Detroit as a tribute to Franklin and her 1985 hit single “Freeway of Love” with the verse “We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love in my pink Cadillac.” More fans huddled along the streets near the church. Many lining up hours before the scheduled 10a.m. service hoping to squeeze into the thousands who would actually get inside. Others were content just to get a glimpse of the gold casket as pallbearers ushered Franklin’s remains to her homegoing ceremony.
The 76 year old multi-Grammy winner died two weeks ago after a long fought battle with pancreatic cancer. The woman who serenaded the world with songs like “Say A Little Prayer”, “Chain of Fools” and “Natural Woman”, also used that voice to fight for equality in the civil rights battle. Her contribution to the world was remembered by admirers who now mourn her. Among those who delivered remarks were former US Attorney General Eric Holder, singer Smokey Robinson and actress Cicely Tyson. No farewell to a singer of Franklin’s doyen would be complete with a chorus to sing goodbye. Among those performing were the Clark Sisters, Pastor Shirley Caesar,Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder.
Reverend Al Sharpton says Franklin used her voice to be the sound of generations and to inspire freedom fighters searching for equality. Sharpton read a message from from former President Barack Obama who said, ” Aretha embodied those most revered virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation, while the music she made captured some of our deepest human desires: namely affection and respect. And through her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions, empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love.”
Former President Bill Clinton arrived to a standing ovation when he entered the church to make remarks and former President George W. Bush also sent a message remembering the singer’s dedication to her craft and her community.
Franklin’s career spanned more than six decades, charting more than 40 hit songs, earning 18 Grammys, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, a Kennedy Center honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her voice was officially declared a “natural resource” by the state of Michigan, but to paraphrase one of the speakers at her funeral, Franklin’s gift belonged to the world. She was treasured by many, mourned by millions, and will be remembered for all of history as the one and only Queen of Soul.
Rest In Paradise Miss Franklin.