Aretha Franklin 'honoured like a Queen' as she lies in state

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Occasionally the crowd burst into song.

Tuesday, around 7:30, Franklin's rose-gold casket arrived in a 1941 LaSalle hearse as the line of people waiting to pay their respects had already extended down the block.

Paula Marie Seniors, associate professor of Africana Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, said the setting for public viewings of the superstar entertainer couldn't be more fitting.

Franklin died from pancreatic cancer on 16 August, aged 76.

Paula Marie Seniors, an associate professor of Africana studies at Virginia Tech, said the setting is fitting, as Franklin is "being honoured nearly like a queen at one of the most important black museums in the United States". Organizers said it's the ideal way to show the Queen of Soul respect in honor of her death.

The museum also hosted civil rights activist Rosa Parks's viewing in 2005.

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Aretha's funeral will be held Friday at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit and is limited to Aretha's family and friends.

The city, which would become synonymous with the secular outgrowth of gospel music known as soul, is treating Franklin's death as the passing of royalty, with a week of mourning, including a free tribute concert at a park on Thursday evening.

Dozens of pink Cadillacs will also line the streets, in honour of Franklin's 1985 hit Freeway Of Love, according to local media.

Speakers include former President Bill Clinton and Smokey Robinson, while performers at the funeral will include Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson and many more.

Franklin had 44 Grammy nominations and 18 wins.

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