Open Casket Public Viewing Held For Aretha Franklin Today

Here’s your chance to pay R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the late Aretha Franklin — provided you can make it to Detroit in time. Eleven days after the legendary Queen Of Soul passed away, an open-casket public viewing is being held in the rotunda at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History today, Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 9AM to 9PM EDT. The event will repeat with the same hours tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 29.

According to the official event listing on the Wright’s website, “At the family’s request, recording devices will not be allowed during the viewing. All guests will be instructed to turn off and store all electronic devices before entering the museum.” Also, “Due to the expected crowds for the event, we strongly suggest carpooling, ride-sharing, getting dropped off, Q-Line, etc.” All other exhibits will be closed during the viewing.

On Friday, Aug. 31, the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit will host Franklin’s “Celebration Of Life,” a star-studded event featuring performances by Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, and more. The event will also feature speeches by former President Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Cicely Tyson, Clive Davis, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan among others. According to Variety, attendance at the “Celebration Of Life” will be limited to family, friends, dignitaries and special guests. However, The Detroit Free Press reports that the funeral will be livestreamed online by the Associated Press and parts will air on Fox News and CNN. Local Detroit stations WDIV-TV (Channel 4), WJBK-TV (Channel 2), and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) will also air the funeral.

Look back on Franklin’s storied life and career with our retrospectives on 20 great Franklin moments, 10 essential deep cuts, and the eternal radicalism of “Respect.”