Last Friday’s homegoing celebration for Aretha Franklin’s was all over the place and lasted approximately 9 hours so I’m shocked anybody in that church was alert and listening by the time Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. got around to the eulogy that capped off the day’s events. Sadly, Aretha’s family were listening and what they heard was, in their words, “offensive and distasteful”. People reports that Jasper (I refuse to use his honorifics) used his platform to push his own bizarre agenda which included criticizing Black folks, and Black single mothers in particular, which Aretha was 4 times over. The family said he “spent more than 50 minutes speaking and at no time did he properly eulogize her”. That’s like getting a steaming turd in lieu of a cherry on top of an otherwise delicious (albeit melty) sundae.
After Aretha Franklin’s eight-hour-long funeral service yesterday, I assumed that the post-funeral highlights would be a plethora of Bill Clinton oogling Ariana Grande memes, but the real take away is nowhere near as fun as that. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated the service in Detroit, is catching some serious heat for his groping of Ariana at the podium and joking about her name being a Taco Bell item, and has been forced to issued an apology.
After two days of public viewing (featuring a costume change and a gold casket, no less), today was the day everyone gathered and honored the life of the Queen of Soul at her funeral. But of course a legendary diva like Aretha didn’t go out with a couple eulogies and pastor-led rendition of “Amazing Grace” before a lunch of sandwiches in the church hall. That gold casket should have been your first and only clue needed to know Aretha would absolutely going out like a legend in an all-day, star-packed memorial service.
Aretha Franklin’s body has been lying in a gold casket in Detroit so mourners can pay their respect before her funeral on Friday. In a very interesting coincidence, the subject of one of Aretha’s more legendary moments of shade also happened to be in Detroit at the same time. Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour was in Detroit and she took a moment to pay tribute to the city’s Queen.
Taylor stopped the show – which happened on the first day of Aretha’s two-day public viewing – and said this about her:
“Last week we lost an irreplaceable force. Aretha Franklin did so much for music, she did so much for women’s rights, she did so much for civil rights. She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home.”
That much niceness from Taylor may surprise some people, considering the best compliment Aretha could muster for Taylor four years ago was “Okay. Great gowns, beautiful gowns.” But I can’t see Taylor ever holding that against Aretha, especially when there are just so many real haters to focus on.
Taylor ended her tribute by asking the crew to cut the lights on stage so that everyone could take a moment and reflect on Aretha’s life. After almost a full minute, Taylor broke the silence by saying: “We love you, Aretha.” Madonna will no doubt be so confused after watching this video. “How is that any way to talk about Aretha? She never said ‘I’ or ‘me’ once!”
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 29, 2018
Today mourners from all over the world flocked to Detroit to pay their respects to The Queen, Aretha Franklin as she lay in state for the first of two days of public viewing. The gold casket in which she lies is a fitting bed for a woman who’s style and panache were legendary. According to Page Six, crowds of people circled the block, some camping out overnight for a chance to say their goodbyes.
Coachella? Never heard of her. Essence Fest, step aside. The biggest and baddest music festival of the decade will be held in next Friday in Detroit, and you’d have to beg, steal, or slap on a wig and borrow somebody else’s identity, if you wanted to attend. Aretha Franklin’s homegoing celebration is scheduled for August 31, and the lineup of artists slated to perform includes Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and a slew of other superstars from the gospel, classical, R&B worlds.