Aretha Franklin public viewing begins in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A public viewing for Aretha Franklin is underway in Detroit and is prompting people from as far away as Miami and Las Vegas to pay their final respects.

People are approaching the gold-plated casket inside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to the sounds of Franklin’s gospel recordings. They find Franklin in repose, legs crossed at the ankles. The casket is surrounded by roses of varying colors.

As people approached, they cried, crossed themselves, bowed their heads or blew kisses.

Museum board member Kelly Major Green says the goal was to create an environment akin to a church, the place where Franklin got her start.

Tammy Gibson of Chicago says she lined up outside about 5:30 a.m. She came alone but made fast friends with others who sang and reminisced.