Former President Bill Clinton detailed his love for Aretha Franklin in a 12-minute tribute at her funeral on Friday. During the moving speech, Clinton revealed that before he and Hillary entered the world of politics, they followed the “Queen of Soul.”
“We started out not as a president, a first lady, a senator, a secretary of state,” Clinton said at a funeral service in Detroit.
“We started out as like, Aretha groupies or something,” Clinton said.
Clinton went on to explain how Aretha had a “breakthrough” in her career when he and Hillary graduated from college.
“This woman got us all here in these seats today,” Clinton said. “Not because she had this breathtaking talent, which she did. Not because she grew up … at least a princess of soul because of her father, her mother, her relatives. But because she lived with courage – not without fear, but overcoming her fears. She lived with faith – not without failure, but overcoming her failures. She lived with power – not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses.”
“I just loved her,” Clinton continued.
Even as president, Clinton had a special relationship with Franklin, who performed at his 1993 presidential inauguration. In 1999, Clinton awarded the singer the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.
Clinton finished his comments with a tribute to one of Aretha's most popular songs, "Think." Clinton pulled out his cellphone and played a snippet for the people in the church.
“It’s the key to freedom!” Clinton exclaimed. “God bless you, Aretha. We love you!”
(Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)