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Guests will also be able to walk by Aretha's gold-plated casket to the sounds of her gospel recordings.

Court documents show the I Say a Little Prayer legend had no will at the time of her death, reports USA entertainment website TMZ.

Hundreds of members of Delta Sigma Theta attend Franklin's Omega Omega ceremony Tuesday night at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

The museum also plans to stage an exhibition honoring Franklin.

Detroit wanted to give the Queen of Soul a send-off that 'would match her legacy'.

Franklin's casket is believed to be the special order Promethean Casket, which retails for $40,000 and is said to be the same style coffin that James Brown and Michael Jackson were buried in. "She went through the back door so people who look like me could go through the front door".

Franklin has been a constant in her life.




"I was so stunned when we took the body out of the hearse, people all over the crowd were tearful and saying, 'I love you Aretha,"' Swanson said.

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.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin's niece, said she began planning this week's festivities earlier this year. Her jewelry was custom made for the occasion.

"I got here at 4:30 yesterday afternoon", she said. Her sequined dress, pointed heels, lipstick and earrings were all a matching ruby red. "I loved her for that".

Franklin had strong loyalty to her family and fans to her last days.

The loss of Aretha Franklin has been felt greatly by the Detroit community and worldwide. "Numerous people you see are here because they were blessed by her big heart and her desire to reach beyond the boundaries of her own success and touch others".

The funeral home providing services for Aretha Franklin says the legendary singer paid the expenses of many families who could not afford to bury their loved ones.


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