The ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin died at 76 on Thursday in a suburb of Detroit. Her family publicly thanked fans from around the world for all the prays and tributes. The Franklin family decided to have an open casket and public viewing at a museum in Detroit. Smokey Robinson who was a life long friend of Franklin’s fought back tears on Friday as he remembered his friend. Robinson met the mother of four when she was only 8 years old in Detroit when they lived only houses away from each other. He said Franklin “was his longest friend on earth, all the other friends we grew up with were gone.”
Smokey said Aretha was never signed with his label ‘Motown’ “we really wanted her, but that’s not the path she took. We always had a relationship that had nothing to do with show business. Diana Ross lived down the street. The ‘Four Tops’ and ‘The Temptations’ all lived in the same neighborhood.” He went on to say, “Aretha had a great sense of humor, she was a very funny woman, and she loved to cook, she was a great person, a great woman, I’ll always love her.” Franklin’s family announced they will hold a public viewing at ‘Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’, in Detroit.
The museum was chosen because it can hold thousands of people, and the family are expecting a huge turnout. Franklin herself often went to the museum for various charitable events. Franklin died on Thursday at her home outside of Detroit, surrounded by close friends and family, at the age of 76. She was in poor health for years before her death. She battled pancreatic cancer ten years ago, the disease came back and that is the official cause of death. No funeral date has been announced, but dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend, including former President Obama and his wife Michelle.