“Unfortunately, President and Mrs. Obama will not be able to attend Aretha Franklin’s services on Friday, but they have sent a letter, which the Rev. Al Sharpton will be reading during the service,” Hill said.
According to USA Today, Obama is to give a eulogy along with former President George W. Bush Saturday morning at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., for the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, who died Aug. 25. Bush, the Free Press previously reported, also sent a letter to be read at Franklin’s funeral service.
Thousands lined up at a Detroit museum this week to honor Franklin, as the music icon’s open casket was on public display at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History… check out the clip above.
Former President Bill Clinton will be among the speakers at Franklin’s funeral, as will former Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Obamas issued a statement following Franklin’s Aug. 16 death from pancreatic cancer.
“America has no royalty. But we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. Born in Memphis and raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine,” it read.
“Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade— our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance. ”
“Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. Michelle and I send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.”
The White House has not responded about whether Donald Trump or First Lady Melania Trump will attend Franklin’s farewell memorial service Friday, Aug. 31.
Bounce and Brown Sugar will partner with Bounce’s local Detroit affiliate, WXYZ-TV, for the special event, airing live and streaming WXYZ’s hometown coverage and commentary nationwide.
On the day she died, Trump told reporters: “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 — Aretha Franklin — on her passing. She’s 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 — her voice, and she used it well. People loved Aretha. She was a special woman. So just want to pass on my warmest best wishes and sympathies to her family.”