"She worked for us", he continued, citing Franklin's commitment to feminism and civil rights.
Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Ariana Grande, Al Sharpton and Faith Hill were among those to pay tribute to the late star, who died on 16 August from pancreatic cancer. But this came after her took us to church with a performance on the harmonica! Instead of, you know, grabbing an aux cord or using AirPlay, the former president ... pressed play and held his iPhone up to the microphone. "I know the world lost the 'Queen, ' but her sons lost their mother, her nieces and nephews lost their aunt".
These gospel greats had a real connection to Franklin: Also hailing from Detroit, they once sang with her at the Grammys, while Franklin sang at their mother's funeral. "We don't have queens and kings in America, so she is our queen".
The formal part of the service stretching almost eight hours, the celebration of the life and legacy of the United States icon was packed with gospel, eulogies, music and sermons. And yes before you ask, Hillary Clinton was in the audience.
"Long lines at the funerals of icons and short lines for voting", the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in remembrance, noting that 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who was also in attendance, lost MI by 11,000 votes.
The former president recalled being an "Aretha groupie" all his life and being thrilled to meet her backstage at her last public performance, a benefit in Harlem for Elton John's AIDS charity a year ago.
Letters from formers presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were also read at the service.
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"I'm doing better now, " Clinton replied. "She had the voice of generation", Clinton said.
He ended his time by playing Franklin's "Think" on his iPhone into the mic.
The Queen of Soul got the ultimate royal send-off Friday with a marathon funeral featuring moving performances and heartfelt tributes by a who's who of Hollywood. "And there were other people who called us wanting to participate".
Franklin was dressed in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels for her final outfit, and she was dressed head-to-heel in red for her first public viewing on Tuesday, a nod to her membership in the sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Her father was a prominent pastor.
Additionally, among those honoring Franklin Friday were about two dozen owners of Pink Cadillacs who arrived at the church early Friday.
The mayor said: "When Aretha Franklin sang, it sounded like the voice of Detroit".