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Aretha Franklin Memorial: Will There Be an Open Casket?

As the tributes about Aretha Franklin’s life continue to pour in, we have an update on what will take place next now that the legendary singer has died.

According to TMZ sources, the memorial for the Queen of Soul will take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.

Not only was Franklin a frequent visitor to this locale, but it is big enough to accommodate the many of thousands of people expected to attend.

There was simply no way a church would be able to do so.

TMZ adds that there will be an open casket and, as you likely could have guessed, A LOT of singing.

This museum was also the site of Rosa Parks’ viewing in 2005.

It’s important to note that no date has been set, as of this writing, for the memorial.

Franklin passed away on Thursday morning at her home in Detroit.

She had grown very ill over the past few weeks, following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, and had been placed under hospice care prior to her passing.

Surrounded by family members and loved ones, Franklin was 76 years old when she died.

In a statement released by her loved ones shortly after we lost this icon, Franklin’s relatives said the following:

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.

We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world.

Franklin was the first woman elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She won 18 Grammy Awards over her illustrious career, including the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance for eight straight years at one point.

The artist was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Whule there have been a number of moving messages posted online by an endless array of celebrities since Franklin died, one of the most notable comes from Elton John.

Aretha’s final live performance took place in November at a fundraiser for John’s AIDS foundation in New York City and this is what Elton wrote in his friend’s honor yesterday:

The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music:

Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral.

She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform.

But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept.

We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her.

My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday – and that meant so much to me.

The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy.

The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.