(CNN) Recent tributes to Aretha Franklin are culminating Friday in the answer to one question: How do you lay a queen to rest?
The funeral for the “Queen of Soul,” who died August 16 at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, got underway Friday morning at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple.
Massive crowds lined up outside the church, hoping for the chance to pay their respects and take their seats among the star-studded funeral-goers that included Franklin’s fellow musicians, famous actors, athletes, religious leaders and a former US President.
Franklin’s open casket was placed at the front of the church as mourners streamed by in advance of the service. Projected on the walls were the words “A Celebration Fit for the Queen.”
A rousing gospel choir greeted attendees who took their seats in the pews as the processional began, and before long many were on their feet, singing and clapping along.
Franklin’s body was dressed all in gold, with a long sequin gown and high heels to match her gleaming gold casket.
In the church lobby were floral arrangements from some of Franklin’s best-known friends, including Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross.
Outside, dozens of pink Cadillac owners worked together to pay their respects, lining the road ahead of Franklin’s funeral. The tribute was a nod to Franklin’s 1985 hit “Freeway of Love” in which she sang, “We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love in my pink Cadillac.”