Aretha Franklin’s funeral to fuse spirit with star power

DETROIT (AP) — Organizers of Aretha Franklin’s funeral insist it will be a spirit-filled service, not a show. Yet there’s no denying the star power attending the Queen of Soul’s final send-off.

The speakers at Friday’s invitation-only funeral at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple include former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Smokey Robinson. Singers include Steve Wonder, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill and Chaka Khan.

Greater Grace’s Bishop Charles Ellis III says he wants all — even the famous — to leave with a “spiritual awakening.”

Still, the get-down and uplift can certainly coexist.

Another performer, gospel artist Marvin Sapp, expects “an eye-opening experience.” He adds the “dearly departed” want a celebration to mark their transition “from this life to a better one.”

Franklin died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at 76.