Aretha Franklin’s Family To Hold Public Viewing Before Funeral

Henny Ray Abrams, FileAP Images

Aretha Franklin’s family will hold a public viewing for the deceased Queen of Soul at a Detroit museum before she is finally laid to rest, TMZ is reporting.

A spokesperson for the family said that a traditional public viewing at a church just wouldn’t be enough to accommodate the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of mourners who are expected to pay their respects. For that reason, they chose a museum instead. Specifically, Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The museum was also the site of the public viewing for civil-rights activist Rosa Parks, who died in 2005.

It’s unclear, as of this writing, if there will be an open casket. Also unclear is when the public viewing will take place, and when the funeral will take place.

For those unable to make it to the viewing or the funeral, “multiple events” are also happening around Detroit to honor the late singer, according to USA Today. The nature of those events, and when and where they will take place, has not yet been made public.

Meanwhile, according to a companion TMZ report, Aretha’s home town of Detroit has become something of a city-wide tribute to the late Queen of Soul.


The city’s famed Fox Theater, as well as the Detroit Tigers’ stadium Comerica Park, and Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings home stadium Little Caesars Arena, have all put up tributes to the city’s First Daughter.

“Forever Our Queen”

Similarly, the Fillmore Detroit and the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts have also put up tributes to Aretha.

According to a Detroit News report, the Music Hall Center has renamed its Jazz Café as Aretha’s Jazz Café. Center spokesperson Vince Paul says discussions about the name change had been underway with Aretha herself before she died.

“We want to continue honoring her. It’s a continuation of Aretha Franklin Way.”

Meanwhile, impromptu memorials have popped up along Aretha Franklin Way (the stretch of the city’s Madison street that runs in front of Music Hall Center), as well as in front of Bethel Baptist Church, the church founded by Aretha’s father, C.L. Franklin.

Detroit remained in Aretha’s heart for her entire life. Though she left the city to pursue her career in New York and Los Angeles, she returned to the city in 1982 to be closer to her family. She lived in a home in the city’s suburbs until her death this week.