Despite getting off to a late start, Franklin's funeral was a total royal affair from the choir's rendition of "Total Praise" by Richard Smallwood to the more than 100 pink Cadillacs that lined her funeral procession. Always one for making a statement, Entertainment Tonight reports Franklin was laid to rest in a gold-plated casket wearing a sparkling rose-gold gown by St. John's with a matching pair of Christian Louboutin heels. Earlier this week, Franklin wore two different dresses, one red and one light blue, for public viewings.
The ceremony attracted some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, and Ariana Grande, all of whom performed at the ceremony. Grande performed a rendition of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," which she also performed on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon two weeks ago. Former President Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Al Sharpton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Reverend Jesse Jackson also gave speeches honouring Franklin's life and legacy. (At one point, Grande and Hillary Clinton even shared a special moment.)
Meanwhile, millions of fans across the world watched the memorial service live from their homes and office buildings, sharing their thoughts on Twitter.
"The funeral of a black woman born in Memphis, Tennessee is being broadcast across the globe. Black church. Everywhere," one fan tweeted. "Even in death Miss Franklin continues to break new ground. The great 'Black' commission."
"The fact that #ArethaHomegoing and #ArethaFranklinFuneral are both trending at the top two positions says a lot about the Queen's reach," filmmaker Ava Duvernay tweeted. "One hashtag is very beautifully Black. The other isn't. She is loved. Lauded and appreciated. Far and wide. Close and near."
The fact that #ArethaHomegoing and #ArethaFranklinFuneral are both trending at the top two positions says a lot about the Queen’s reach. One hashtag is very beautifully black. The other isn’t. She is loved, lauded and appreciated. Far and wide. Close and near. pic.twitter.com/ATFzgv3Arm— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 31, 2018
Duvernay was right about that. Even Buckingham Palace sent its warmest regards.
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
May Franklin's light continue to shine through those who loved her. Catch the full funeral livestream here.