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Aretha Franklin’s Body Arrives In A Solid Gold Casket For First Day of Public Viewing in Detroit

They’re paying their respects. The music world lost an icon earlier this month when the legendary singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. But since Aretha was so beloved by so many, that there was a two-day public viewing arranged at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Aretha’s hometown of Detroit. Day one of the public viewing started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28 — and the Queen of Soul arrived in style.

Aretha’s body was transported to the museum in a 1940 white LaSalle, according to local paper Detroit Free Press. Some fans slept on the sidewalk outside of the museum overnight, and just one hour before the viewing started, there were about 200 people waiting to enter the museum. 

Inside the rotunda, Aretha’s body laid in a solid gold casket surrounded by flowers. She wore a red cocktail dress and red stiletto shoes. Her body will remain in the rotunda until 9 p.m. tonight, and fans will have another opportunity to pay their last respects to her on Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the museum.

On Thursday, Aug. 30, there will be a third viewing at the New Bethel Baptist Church from noon to 4 p.m., and at 6 p.m. artists will pay tribute to Aretha at a concert titled “A People’s Tribute to the Queen,” which will take place at the Chene Park Amphitheatre in Detroit. Aretha’s funeral will take place on Friday, Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple, and former United States President Bill Clinton, music icon Smokey Robinson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and recording industry mogul Clive Davis are all set to attend and speak during the service. Keep scrolling below to see photos from the public viewing.