Though Aretha Franklin’s funeral is a private ceremony for family and friends, fans of the late Queen of Soul can watch it live via TV and livestream starting at 7 a.m. PDT Friday.
The Greater Grace Temple in Detroit will livestream the “homegoing ceremony” on its website, greatergrace.org, from the start of the remembrance until it ends around noon PDT.
If you’re watching on TV, Fox News and MSNBC will cover the event, and CNN will have a crew there and plans to air the ceremony around other news, according to Detroit Free Press. HLN, or Headline News, will air the funeral live and continue coverage throughout the day.
ABC News’ live feed will cover at least the first two hours of Franklin’s funeral, the Free Press reported. BET Networks said Thursday that it will carry the funeral “in its entirety” on BET, BET Her and BET.com.
NPR Music will have an audio livestream, and SiriusXM’s Soul Town radio (Channel 49) will broadcast the funeral live in its entirety.. Afterward, the Aretha Franklin Tribute Channel — as Soul Town has been known since Aug. 16 — will take calls from listeners nationwide who want to pay respects and share stories and memories of Franklin until 3 p.m. PDT.
As far as what viewers can see during the service, Ariana Grande was a late addition to the long list of talent who will perform in five- to 20-minute increments around speakers who will include Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, former President Bill Clinton, filmmaker Tyler Perry, actress Cicely Tyson, musician Smokey Robinson and more.
The event is meticulously scheduled right down to the minute; click here for the official program.
Previously announced entertainers include Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Holliday and Fantasia Barrino-Taylor. Wonder and Hudson both sang at Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009. Franklin herself sang at Rosa Parks’ funeral at Greater Grace in 2005.
The list of performers hardly stops there, though; Franklin lived in the world of gospel as well as soul.
Rounding out the list are Yolanda Adams, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Shirley Caesar, the Clark Sisters, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Audrey DuBois Harris, Marvin Sapp, Alice McAllister Tillman and the Williams Brothers, plus Franklin’s son Edward Franklin, the Aretha Franklin Orchestra and the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir.
Franklin’s family has been hard at work putting the service together since her death Aug. 16 from pancreatic cancer at age 76.
“I know people think two weeks is a long time to arrange all this, but it’s really not with all that has to be done,” niece Sabrina Owens told CNN. “Two weeks seems like a lot of time, but you need that time in order to do this right.”
The family also needed time on its own to mourn Franklin, who lay in repose Tuesday and Wednesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, wearing different outfits, including a bold red ensemble the first day and a sheer, light-blue dress the next.
On Thursday, her body was moved to the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father had been a minister. She was dressed in sparkling rose gold from head to toe for the viewing there.
“I know the world lost the Queen, but her sons lost their mother, her nieces and nephews lost their aunt …,” Owens told CNN, noting that it would be “very difficult” after the ceremony ends and all the people have gone away.
“[W]e lost a family member and we haven't had a chance to come together as a group to truly realize that we have lost one who loved us so much and was so loyal to us,” she said.