Family members celebrate birthday of late ‘Queen of Soul’

DETROIT (AP) — Family members are celebrating Aretha Franklin on what would have been the Queen of Soul’s 77th birthday with a memorial service and a screening of a documentary film.

The service was held Monday inside a chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. Franklin died last year after battling pancreatic cancer and was laid to rest inside a crypt not far from Woodlawn’s chapel.

Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, says “our family thought it might be a good idea for us to start the day the right way, in prayer.” Those who attended remembered not only the legendary singer but also other departed members of the Franklin family.

Later Monday, the Detroit Institute of Arts will host the premiere of “Amazing Grace,” which chronicles Franklin’s 1972 performance at a Los Angeles church.

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