100 Pink Cadillacs and a Final Outfit Change: What You Didn’t See at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral
The Queen of Soul died on Aug. 16 of advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
While her funeral and multiple days of public open casket viewings were streamed to the public, here are some moments fans may have missed.
The 100 Cadillacs
pink Cadillacs at Aretha Franklin’s funeral
More than 100 pink Cadillacs escorted Franklin’s hearse to Greater Grace Temple.
The iconic moment was in honor of Franklin’s 1985 hit “Freeway of Love,” in which she talks about driving in a pink Cadillac.
“We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love/Wind’s against our backs/We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love/In my pink Cadillac/We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love,” she sings.
The Final Outfit Change
For her funeral, Franklin wore a sparkling gold floor length dress paired with sequinned heels, according to the Detroit Free Press.
It was her fourth and final outfit change of the week.
Before the funeral service, fans were able to say their goodbyes at a public open-casket viewing streamed from the rotunda of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
On Tuesday, Franklin was dressed in a red suit and crimson pumps. Then on Wednesday, she was changed into a powder blue dress.
For the last public open-casket viewing, which held at New Bethel Baptist Church, where she got her start, Franklin was dressed in a rose gold St. John’s gown and gold Christian Louboutin heels.
Former Presidents, Pop Stars and Prominent Figures
Bill Clinton, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson
Grande found herself to be quite a focal point of the service following her performance of “(You Make Me Feel) A Natural Woman.”
Many fans were outraged by her black mini dress. “I can’t believe Ariana Grande is walking into the house of the Lord FOR A FUNERAL in this little a– dress,” one user tweeted.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Grande was also mistaken for a Taco Bell food menu item by Bishop Charles H. Ellis. “When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell,” Ellis joked.
Ellis later apologized saying, “I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis told the Associated Press. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you to try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”
Another much-talked-about moment was actress Cicely Tyson’s extravagant hat that literally turned heads.
The Many Performances
Highlighting her Christian roots, Grammy-nominated gospel singer Marvin Sapp took the stage.
Yolanda Adams and Vanessa Bell Armstrong also performed as the service was officiated by Bishop Charles H. Ellis and Rev. Robert Smith Jr. served as the Co-Officiant.
Aretha Franklin’s program at her funeral
JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images
Franklin’s funeral program showed a young Franklin wearing sunglasses with the words “A Celebration Fit For The Queen” written over it.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said in a statement.