Thousands expected to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin in Detroit

DETROIT – A free concert will be held at Chene Park to honor the Queen of Soul the night before her Friday funeral.

RELATED: Aretha Franklin funeral in Detroit: What you need to know

It will be a four-day all-star concert with tributes to Aretha Franklin as a prelude to the names that will perform and speak at her services.

In life, Franklin drew in huge crowds, and in death the Queen of Soul continues to bring out the masses.

Starting Tuesday, Franklin's body will lie in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African-American History. The viewing will be open to the public on both days. Thousands are expected to show. 

"I would like to attend the funeral," said Claudia Couch.

Couch is one of many hoping to get inside the Greater Grace Temple for the celebration of life services.

But first, fans will hit Chene Park Thursday night where the first round of big name artists will sing tributes. Gladys Knight, The Four Tops and Johnny Gill are a few hitting the stage. 

"It says she was huge and was well loved by so many," Couch said.

"That's going to be fantastic," James Burford said. "It's going to be an event to remember."

Thousands are expected pack the Greater Grace Temple where an all-star line up will sing songs at Franklin's funeral.

Shirley Caeser, Stevie Wonder and Faith Hill are set fly to Detroit and perform. 

The list of famous speakers is just as impressive as those who perform. 

At 93-years-old, actress Cicely Tyson will reflect on Franklin's impact, and her longtime friend and Motown legend Smokey Robinson will speak along with former President Bill Clinton and the reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. 

Tickets for the concert at Chene Park and the funeral services are free. They will be available Monday at 10 a.m.

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