Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks about Aretha Franklin at her funeral in Detroit

Jackson says he knew Franklin for 60 years

DETROIT – The Rev. Jesse Jackson took the podium Friday afternoon at Aretha Franklin's funeral at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit to talk about the Queen of Soul, who he knew for most of their lives.

"I've known Aretha almost 60 years," Jackson said. "That's a lot of reflecting."

Jackson thanked the members of Franklin's family and the people who organized the funeral at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

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"I was here for the Rosa Parks funeral," Jackson said. "I watched the long lines at the museum for Rosa Parks, long lines for Aretha and long lines today."

Jackson said Franklin's father, C.L. Franklin, was a hero before nightly television shows and the internet. One night, he introduced his daughter.

"Aretha sang 'Never Grow Old,'" Franklin said. "That night a star was born. Somewhere between Nashville and eternity, we heard a voice from heaven at 14 years old. Aretha was our queen. She belongs to us."

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Jackson said Franklin had perhaps the most remarkable and unique voice that the world has ever heard.

He talked about her role in civil rights movements, and shared a story about how her father led a major march in Detroit, laying the groundwork for Martin Luther King Jr. to march in Washington, D.C.

"If you leave this (funeral) and don't feel something, something's wrong with you," Jackson said.

You can watch Jackson's full remarks in the video posted above.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.