Aretha Franklin Has a Third Outfit Change on Final Day of Public Viewing Before Funeral

The Queen of Soul switched into a third outfit for Thursday's viewings, ahead of her funeral on Friday.

Aretha Franklin had not one, not two, but three outfit changes for her public viewings in Detroit.

Over the past few days, fans have been gathering together in the Queen of Soul's hometown to pay their final respects to the legendary singer, who died on Aug. 16 at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer.

For Thursday's viewing at New Bethel Baptist Church, Franklin laid in repose in a lacy, rose gold gown by St. John's, styled with a pair of gold Christian Louboutin heels, while her gospel music played in the background. There was also gold material draped inside her "Queen of Soul"-inscribed casket, with an arrangement of blush pink and purple flowers lining the altar.

Franklin was dressed in much more vibrant hues for day one and two of the public viewings at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. On Monday, she wore a lace red dress with matching Christian Louboutin leather pumps, switching into a blue sparkly dress with open-toed silver shoes on Tuesday.


ET has learned that Thursday's viewing was initially intended to be private (for church members only) but quickly turned into a huge public event. Walking through the viewing in the sanctuary took about three minutes in total, as fans and mourners were asked to keep moving. Pictures were also strictly forbidden.

In addition to the public viewings, fans can watch musical tributes to Franklin at Chene Park's riverfront amphitheater on Thursday evening, which will feature Gladys Knight, Johnny Gill, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Angie Stone, The Four Tops and Keith Washington.

A funeral for friends, family, dignitaries and special guests will be held on Friday at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple, with performances from stars like Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Jennifer Holliday and Franklin's son, Edward. Their performances are expected to honor Franklin's strong gospel roots. 

"There will be some laughing, some tears, some joy, some sorrow," Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III, pastor of Greater Grace Temple, who will serve as officiant for Frankin's funeral told ET earlier this week. "I think there will be some up hands clapping and feet dancing. I think it's going to be a very jubilant experience."

"I think at the end of the day, I feel it is my task as an officiant to make sure that we maintain a spiritual encounter here," he continued. "Because at the end of the day, hearing the conclusion of the whole matter is regardless of how famous you are, regardless of how many lives you touched, regardless of how much money you have or how many GRAMMYs or gold records you've been able to achieve, we all can't escape death, so at the end of the day, we have to make sure our life mattered and we did something that was pleasing to go in some sort of way."    

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Reporting by Angelique Jackson.