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Aretha Franklin interred at Detroit cemetery

/ 10:27 AM September 01, 2018

The casket of Aretha Franklin is laid to rest at her burial at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Franklin died Aug. 16, 2018 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

DETROIT — Aretha Franklin is in her final resting place.

The casket of the Queen of Soul was interred Friday evening in a mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, just over two weeks after she died of pancreatic cancer at age 76.

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Franklin’s loved ones arrived at the cemetery after a 10-mile processional through her hometown from Greater Grace Temple, where an eight-hour service of songs, sermons and speeches was held earlier in the day.

Woodlawn is also home to the graves of Franklin’s father, two more of his daughters, and civil rights luminary Rosa Parks.

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The interment ends the formal mourning for Franklin, who was dressed in four different outfits for open-casket viewings in the days leading up to the funeral.

She was buried in a gold dress and sparkling pumps.

Earlier, Stevie Wonder wowed with his harmonica skills and then brought the remaining mourners at Aretha Franklin’s lengthy funeral to their feet with a moving version of “As.”

The choir, Franklin’s family, preachers and remaining guests swayed as Wonder played the classic tune in honor of his old friend.

“The reason we are here today is love,” Wonder said in remarks.

Before Wonder performed, Gladys Knight sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” As Franklin’s coffin left the church, Jennifer Holliday sang “Climbing Higher Mountains.”

Others who performed over the eight-hour ceremony included Faith Hill, Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and Chaka Khan.

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“God bless, Aretha,” Wonder said at the end of his song. “The joy is in knowing that she will have an eternal life of bliss.”  /kga

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