Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan Set to Perform at Aretha Franklin's Funeral - Rolling Stone
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Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Chaka Khan to Perform at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral

Detroit ceremony will include tributes by soul and gospel luminaries such as Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill and Yolanda Adams

Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka KhanStevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan

Aretha Franklin's funeral ceremony will include tributes by Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.


UPDATE: Ariana Grande will also perform at the ceremony, Pitchfork reports.

UPDATE: Bill Clinton, record mogul Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson and actress Cicely Tyson will be among the speakers at Franklin’s service on August 31st, the Detroit Free Press reports. Michigan governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Rev. Jesse Jackson and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will also speak. Franklin performed at Clinton’s presidential inauguration events in 1993 and received her National Medal of Arts and Humanities from Clinton in 1999.

Aretha Franklin‘s funeral will feature performances by many of the biggest stars in soul and gospel, including Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams and more, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Franklin’s estate later confirmed that Faith Hill, Ronald Isley and Shirley Caesar will also perform at the funeral.

The event will feature singers whose remarkable voices made them stars alongside Franklin in the Sixties and Seventies such as Stevie Wonder, a longtime friend who also co-wrote Franklin’s hit “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),” the Isley Brothers’ Ronald Isley, who sang a duet with Franklin in 2006, and Chaka Khan, whose brassy delivery was at times reminiscent of Franklin’s.

In addition to these soul luminaries, a number of fearsome gospel vocalists will be present at Franklin’s funeral. Franklin’s roots in gospel were deep — her father was a minister — and her Amazing Grace album is one of the most popular gospel LPs in history. Adams, Marvin Sapp, Shirley Caesar, the Clark Sisters and Tasha Cobbs-Leonard will be among those honoring Franklin’s contributions to the genre.

The service will also include younger artists who emerged in the 1990s and 2000s with big voices and an interest in Franklin-esque vocal pyrotechnics, including Faith Hill, Fantasia and Hudson. Hudson was picked earlier this year to portray Franklin in a biopic, though the fate of the film is currently unknown.

Franklin died on August 16th after a fight with pancreatic cancer. Her funeral is set to take place 10 a.m. on Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple in the singer’s hometown of Detroit.


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