The grand ceremonial homegoing services for the late Aretha Franklin brought forth only the most royal and righteous affair fit perfectly to lay the Queen of Soul to rest. With attendees of all Hollywood trades, a parade of pink Cadillacs escorting Aretha to the funeral and a lineup of music’s most-gifted vocalists singing tribute to the queen, the service inarguably shined as one of the most exquisitely planned and executed homegoing services Detroit has ever seen.
It didn’t come without a few faux pas though, such as the shamefully touchy exchange Bishop Charles H Ellis III subjected pop songstress Ariana Grande to (which he later apologized for) and a discontented response to Faith Hill’s opening performance at the funeral.
Apparently, Aretha’s family was disappointed with another member of the church tasked with funeral duties as well: eulogist Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.
“He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her,” the site reports of Vaughn Franklin’s statement, Aretha’s nephew. Instead, Williams politically ranted about non-Aretha topics, including absent fathers and a bold statement against the Black Lives Matter movement, which he said was only successful after Black-on-Black crime ceases.
She actually never spoke about her funeral wishes, but the family handpicked him because he’d spoken at other homegoing services of the Franklins in the past, such as that of Aretha’s father C.L. Franklin 34 years ago. The eulogy for Aretha’s funeral however “caught the entire family off guard,” Billboard added, and deemed it “very, very distasteful.”
“I understand it,” he reportedly responded. “I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way.” They weren’t the only ones who did feel that way either, as Billboard reports that Stevie Wonder shouted out “Black Lives Matter” in response to the pastor’s criticism of the movement while on the podium. His thoughts on single-parent homes was also frowned upon, especially considering that Aretha was a single mother of four sons.
(Photo: Steve Mack/Getty Images)