Former president Bill Clinton, Michigan governor Rick Snyder, and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan also spoke at the funeral, while Franklin's friend Barbara Simpson read a statement from former president George W. Bush, who was likewise unable to attend.
But Bishop Charles Ellis III, of Detroit's Greater Grace, said the funeral will be a respectful service rather than a pomp ceremony.
"I've been wishing and hoping that I will wake up and that this is just a dream", she said.
Franklin was dressed in her third outfit of the week, a rose gold gown, for her final public viewing on Thursday. Her last album, A Brand New Me, was released in November 2017, which paired archival vocal recordings for Atlantic Records with new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The service will reflect Franklin's strong gospel roots. "She worked for us".
Everybody knows why Pete Davidson went to Aretha Franklin's funeral― his fiancée, Ariana Grande, was set to perform a tribute to the late singer ― but that doesn't mean we didn't do a double take when the "Saturday Night Live" star arrived at the service.
Afterward, performances from celebrated singers such as Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan were scheduled along with speeches and readings from others.
The streets outside the Motor City church were filled with dozens of pink Cadillacs, a nod to Franklin's 1985 hit "Freeway of Love".
Friday's service, however, will feature those who knew and loved Franklin most, such as her childhood friend, singer Smokey Robinson, who talked to CNN soon after Franklin died about their life-long friendship.
'I do not plan anything (with) someone I love like that, ' Robinson, a Motown great who grew up with Franklin, said.
"It is my goal and my aim to ensure that people leave here with some kind of spiritual awakening", Ellis said.
'There are some girls who haven't been born yet. who will be inspired by Aretha, ' he said. "Death is a part of life". Her niece, Sabrina Owens, will provide the obituary and Franklin's relatives-Vaughn, Cristal, Victorie and Jordan Franklin-will offer family reflections.