Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder Among Performers Set For Aretha Franklin Funeral

Jennifer Hudson Aretha Franklin

Jennifer HudsonAretha Franklin’s personal choice to play her in a biopic – is just one of the performers set to pay tribute at the Queen of Soul’s private funeral in Detroit next Friday.

Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Faith Hill, various gospel stars and Franklin’s son Edward are also on the list released today by Aretha’s longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn. See the full roster below.

The Aug. 31 service is planned for 10 a.m. at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. A public viewing will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and a public concert is set for the Chene Park amphitheater Thursday.

The line-up for the funeral service is: Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Shirley Caesar, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday, Edward Franklin, and gospel stars Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, The Williams Brothers, Marvin Sapp, the Clark Sisters and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Also on the roster are The Aretha Franklin Orchestra, the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir and singers Audrey DuBois Harris and Alice McAllister Tillman.

The funeral service will be private, but according to the Detroit Free Press, some public seating might be made available. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III of Greater Grace will officiate, with the Rev. Robert Smith Jr. of Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church as co-officiant. The eulogy will be delivered by the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. of Atlanta’s Salem Baptist Church.

Thursday’s free concert at Chene Park is expected to include another strong line-up, with some cross-over from the funeral service. Gladys Knight is expected to perform, along with Johnny Gill, Ronald Isley and Karen Clark-Sheard.

Before Franklin’s death from pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16, a New York tribute concert was already in the works. CNN and Billboard reported that producer and longtime Franklin friend Clive Davis is planning a Nov. 14 event at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The line-up for Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin has not been announced.

At Davis’ pre-Grammy party last January, as first reported by Deadline, the legendary music mogul introduced a performance by Hudson with word that she’d been chosen by Aretha herself for a planned biopic.

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