Filled with personal stories and light-hearted jokes about the Memphis-born singer, the funeral service saw performances from the likes of Ariana Grande, Faith Hill, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, The Clark Sisters, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan, among others.
Speakers included former US President Bill Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, record producer Clive Davis, director Tyler Perry, legendary Motown artist Smokey Robinson, Rev. Al Sharpton, US Rep. Maxine Waters and Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers, to name a few.
Outside the ceremony, a row of pink Cadillacs lined the street, giving a nod to the Queen's 1980s hit song "Freeway of Love."
— Tyler Clifford (@_TylerTheTyler_) August 31, 2018
And at the entrance, floral arrangements sent in by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand greeted guests, Variety reported. The words "A Celebration Fit for the Queen" were reportedly projected above Franklin's golden casket.
"She lived with courage," Clinton said. "Not without fear, but overcoming her fears. She lived with faith. Not without failure, but overcoming her failures. She lived with power. Not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses. I just loved her."
Jackson, who came up to the podium following Khan's rendition of Walter Hawkins' "Going Up Yonder," spoke on Franklin's part in the Civil Rights movement, recalling a time when she performed at a benefit concert despite police dispersing tear gas.
"Aretha was our queen; she belonged — and belongs — to us," Jackson said, before highlighting the need for voters in Detroit to do their part and show up to vote. "We have long lines for death and short lines for voting — we lost Michigan by 11,000 votes; 100,000 [people] unregistered [to vote] in Detroit."
As the service progressed, US President Donald Trump, who was not invited to the event, was even mentioned in Georgetown professor Michael Eric Tyson's speech. "This orange aberration had the nerve to say Aretha worked for him. You lugubrious leach. You lethal liar. You dimwitted dictator. You foolish fascist. She didn't work for you. She worked above you. She worked beyond you. Get your composition right," he said.
But of the dozens of guests in attendance, actress Cicely Tyson scooped up some of the most attention on social media, with netizens zeroing in on her Franklin-approved church hat.
— Just Benji (@dwaynebenji) August 31, 2018
— Nicole Beez (@nbeez) August 31, 2018
— Chris Witherspoon (@WitherspoonC) August 31, 2018
— Pj aka Blenderella Bae — Makeup Artiist (@pjlovespj) August 31, 2018
— king crissle (@crissles) August 31, 2018
Aside from the glory that is Ms. Tyson, a longtime friend of Franklin, netizens pounced on the highs and lows of the service, dishing the shade that auntie Aretha would've (likely) approved.
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) August 31, 2018
— Blue Ivy’s Smirk (@BlknisEverdeen) August 31, 2018
— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) August 31, 2018
— The Honorable Maxine Shaw (@maxfeliceshaw) August 31, 2018
— Queeen 💔🌕 (@beybreezyy) August 31, 2018
— DeJ-o-Bae (@QueenDreamin) August 31, 2018
— Denisha J. Thomas (@favoredjthomas) August 31, 2018
Some of the lows of the service revolved mostly around the eulogy offered by Rev. Jasper Williams, who suggested that women are unable to raise men on their own; Franklin raised four boys.
— JSaysOnline.com (@JSaysOnline) August 31, 2018
— Insert Name (@blckfemtheology) August 31, 2018
— 🤓 (@arollingbeauty) August 31, 2018
— Ryan G. Hinds (@ryanghinds) August 31, 2018
— Faz Mbappé (@faz_hur) August 31, 2018
— Jesska1018 (@Jesska1018) August 31, 2018
— Bené (@beneviera) August 31, 2018
Franklin died earlier this month at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.