Fans queued en masse Tuesday to pay their respects to legendary USA singer and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, whose body lay in a golden casket dressed in a ruffled red dress and matching heels in Detroit.
Franklin's body was brought to the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in a white 1940 Cadillac Lasalle hearse, according to the Detroit Free Press. Her casket, emblazoned in gold embroidery simply reads in cursive script: The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.
Carolyn Adkisson, 52, of Detroit said she grew up with one of Franklin's sons, and attended high school with him.
Fans strolled by the casket, some in tears; one woman blew a kiss to Franklin, who was surrounded by massive arrangements of roses of different hues. But even then the Queen of Soul made a big impression on Thimes, who is now an accomplished vocalist herself.
Aretha Franklin passed away earlier this month at the age of 76.
"When we were little girls, we would all dress up a little and sing her songs in the living room", said Teresa Massey Walker, 48, who came from Buffalo, N.Y., to pay her respects.
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Her powerful voice, seared with emotion, would become the daunting standard for other singers to match, but fans described a legacy beyond her most famous recordings.
"I got here at 4:30 yesterday afternoon", she said.
As the world continues to say goodbye to Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer, the sadness still felt particularly heavy for Thimes, who launched the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer in honor of her mother in 1997.
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.
Linda Swanson, whose funeral home is handling services for Franklin, said the singer had covered the funeral expenses of many needy families over the years. The funeral itself will feature performances from a variety of soul singers, including Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, and more.