Aretha Franklin’s homegoing service Friday at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit wasn’t without surprises or moments that got people talking.
Here are a few:
Cicely Tyson’s hat¬†
While Aretha may have been famous for her hats, especially the one she wore at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Emmy-award winning actress Cicely Tyson, 93, stole the show in her oversize¬†black floppy hat. Twitter lit up with praise for her chapeau.
Cicely Tyson wore a large, ruffled hat at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. USA TODAY
Waters gives the ‘Wakanda salute’
Bishop Charles Ellis III singled out the California congresswoman during the service acknowledging how she has come under fire, apparently referring to President Donald Trump’s Twitter attacks on the Democrat.
Waters stood up and crossed her arms in “Wakanda Forever!” salute made famous in the Marvel film “Black Panther.”¬†Twitter went crazy for “Auntie Maxine.”
Sharpton calls out President Trump
Trump sparked backlash on Aug. 23 when he weighed in on Franklin’s death to a press pool, saying that Franklin “worked” for him.
“I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well. She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific ‚ÄĒ Aretha Franklin ‚ÄĒ on her passing. She brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come. She was given a great gift from God ‚ÄĒ her voice, and she used to well. People loved Aretha. She was a special woman. So just want to pass on my warmest best wishes and sympathies to her family,” he said.
On Friday, Sharpton was quick to give his response to Trump’s comments.
“When word went out that Ms. Franklin passed, Trump said, ‘She used to work for me.’ ” Sharpton said. “No, she used to perform for you. She worked for us.”
Sharpton received a standing ovation.
He wasn’t the only one to call out Trump, however,¬†
“Aretha Franklin personified black girl magic ‚ÄĒ and in no way did she ever ‘work’¬†for Donald Trump,” said Michael Eric Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University.
While speaking at Franklin’s funeral Friday, he called the president a “dimwitted dictator.”
“And then, this orange apparition had the nerve to say she worked for him,” Dyson said to applause. “You lugubrious leech. You doppelganger of deceit and deviance. You lethal liar, you dimwitted dictator, you foolish fascist. She ain‚Äôt work for you. She worked above you. She worked beyond you. Get your preposition right.
Dyson said Franklin had feminist sensibilities, and “the independent autonomous reach of black female identity was radiant in her rhetoric.”
“She was black girl magic before there was black girl magic,” he said.
Ellis’ dad joke
When pop singer Ariana¬†Grande finished belting out¬†“You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” early on at Franklin’s funeral, Ellis brought her to the podium.
Ellis said when he first saw her name on the program, he thought Ariana¬†Grande was something new at Taco Bell.¬†
Grande is currently in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Artist 100 chart.
Clinton’s gravelly voice
Former President Bill Clinton, a self-confessed Aretha Franklin groupie, gushed during his 12-minute speech at Friday’s homegoing service.¬†
But Twitter noted that his voice was shaky and wondered whether it was the stress of the moment or something more.
Aretha, King of Soul?
One of the bigger huhs? at the service came from Gov. Rick Snyder, who praised Aretha Franklin as the King of Soul.
He praised Franklin for championing women’s rights.
“And that’s why we call her the King of Soul,” he said, in an apparent flub.
Aretha Franklin Park
Mayor Mike Duggan got the ball rolling at Friday’s service by announcing that city is planning to rename Chene Park for Aretha Franklin.
Aretha Franklin Park is a fitting tribute, the mayor said, because the singer loved the Detroit River.
A tribute concert to Aretha Franklin was held at Chene Park on Thursday night.
What’s my line?
R&B legend Chaka Khan, also known as the Queen of Funk, performed a stirring rendition of “Going Up Yonder.”¬†
But apparently, she had trouble with the lyrics, which appeared to be taped to the back of a purple fan she carried throughout the number.
Eulogy hits a sour note
If there is one thing the internet seemed to agree on, it was that the Rev. Jaspar Williams 25-minute eulogy was a dud.¬†
Some people downright blasted it.¬†
Williams, pastor at Salem Bible¬†Church in Atlanta, raised the ire of black women, single mothers and gays by talking about “black on black crime,” saying “black mothers can’t raise sons,” “libs need to respect the conservatives” and “gays need to respect the straights.”
Williams, who also preached at the funeral of Franklin’s father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, was handpicked by the family for the service.
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