Hundreds queue for Aretha’s open casket
LEGENDARY singer Aretha Franklin will be laid to rest in a glittering gold coffin once her loyal fans have paid their final respects to the true Queen of Soul.
The Sun reports that the singing sensation's body is now lying in state at Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Hundreds of music lovers slept on the sidewalk overnight to ensure they were among the first to say a farewell to the global star, who died from pancreatic cancer earlier this month.
Fans of Aretha Franklin pay respects before funeral https://t.co/TyN9ZbEeDH— The Dub Clock (@TheDubClock) August 28, 2018
Franklin was transported to the museum in a classic white LaSalle sedan in the city where she began her career as a child singing in the New Bethel Baptist Church choir.
Outside the museum, the star's adoring fans waited for their chance to say their goodbyes to Franklin, who is dressed in a red dress and heels with matching crimson lipstick in an open casket.
The shiny box - inscribed inside with The Queen of Soul in small gold letters - was surrounded by a spray of soft-pink and lavender-coloured roses.
Aretha Franklin: Fans gather to view Queen of Soul's body: Thousands are expected to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul before Friday's funeral. https://t.co/4GHrYwF50A pic.twitter.com/K52QU09tkU— i Sol (@Industrial_Sol) August 28, 2018
Museum officials made mourners put away their cell phones before viewing Aretha and quickly ushered them along. Multiple life-size posters of her flanked the entrance and exit of the building.
"She is just iconic. The way she loved and treated individuals, and she always remained down to earth," said Mary Jones, who wore an "I love Aretha" T-shirt and made the four-hour drive from Ohio to pay her respects.
"It's unreal that I'm going to get to say goodbye to her now. It's amazing."
The Wright Museum previously hosted a similar public viewing for civil rights icon Rosa Parks after her 2005 death.
It has now emerged that the megastar did not leave a will - despite having tens of millions stashed in the bank.
Court documents show the I Say a Little Prayer legend had no will at the time of her death, reports US entertainment website TMZ.
The singer's four sons - Clarence, Edward, Teddy White Jr. and Kecalf - will now share equally in her estimated $US80 million estate, in accordance with Michigan state law.
Franklin's funeral is due to take place on August 31, at 10am EST (12am AEST) when her body will be entombed at a family gravesite.
It will be held at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Michigan and her body will be entombed at the Woodlawn Cemetery.
THEY CROSSED ARETHA FRANKLIN’s LEGS FOR HER FUNERAL!!!— SEAN IS PROBLEMATIC (@_KINGSEANCOURT_) August 28, 2018
The funeral will see the legendary artist's family and closest friends say goodbye to the singer in the private event.
Over a 100 pink Cadillacs are expected to line up outside the church to pay homage to Franklin's song Freeway of Love, in which she sings about a pink Cadillac.
Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Hudson and Yolanda Adam are set to perform at the service, according to CNN.
Others performing are Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, classical artist Audrey DuBois Harris, soprano Alice McAllister Tillman, Franklin's son Edward Franklin, the Aretha Franklin Orchestra and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir.
Music producer Clive Davis is also planning a tribute concert to honour the legend at New York City's Madison Square Garden in November.
The singer was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but moved to Detroit when she was five. Rolling Stone magazine recently named her the greatest singer of all time.
Franklin's dazzling music career included classic songs (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and RESPECT.
The mum-of-four died surrounded by loved ones in the town where she grew up, publicist Gwendolyn Quinn announced.
Fans from across the U.S. gathered in Detroit to say goodbye to Aretha Franklin at a public visitation ahead of her funeral there later this week.— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) August 28, 2018
Tammy Gibson traveled from Chicago. "She's gone, but her legacy and her music will live on forever." https://t.co/EzQPjcFzVC pic.twitter.com/hSOYjax6gL
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission