Denise Thimes was still a young girl when she first interacted with Aretha Franklin in St. Louis during the late '60s.
Linda Swanson, whose funeral home is handling services for Franklin, said the singer had covered the funeral expenses of many needy families over the years.
Fans queued en masse Tuesday to pay their respects to legendary US singer and "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, whose body lay in a golden casket dressed in a ruffled red dress and matching heels in Detroit.
The legendary Aretha Franklin's funeral has officially begun, and TMZ reports that her open casket will be available for viewing for a few days.
Here's the rundown: The ceremony will take place on Friday at 10 a.m.at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, where Franklin sang at Rosa Parks's funeral in 2005.
"The 18-time Grammy victor (44 nominations) who died August 16 at the age of 76 was known for timeless hits like "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". "They really loved her, and she loved Detroit".
"Her music saved my life in 1997 when I was contemplating suicide", he said. "The way she loved and treated individuals, and she always remained down to earth", said Mary Jones, who wore an "I love Aretha" T-shirt and made the four-hour drive from OH to pay her respects.
Costume change for Aretha Franklin on second day of mourning
The singer stayed silent for almost a full minute in front of a star-studded backdrop, before concluding, "We love you, Aretha". Wright Museum of African American History an hour before public visitation was set to begin, The Detroit News reported.
The procession into the Ford Motor Rotunda lasted more than ten minutes, and the overflow crowd of more than 1,000 filled the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Over a 100 pink Cadillacs are expected to line up outside the church to pay homage to Franklin's song Freeway of Love, in which she sings about a pink Cadillac.
"I got here at 4:30 yesterday afternoon", she said.
The roses that surround the coffin, Ms Owens said, reflected her love for the flower and her propensity to send arrangements "in grand fashion".
The 76-year-old gospel, soul and R&B star legend influenced generations of singers with unforgettable hits including "Respect" (1967), "Natural Woman" (1968) and "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968).
The museum also plans to stage an exhibition honoring Franklin.
"She personified it, she monetized it, she knew how to produce it, she knew how to arrange it where everybody liked it", he said.