Fans gather at New Bethel Baptist Church to celebrate Aretha Franklin's life, career

DETROIT - Fans of Aretha Franklin stopped by the church she grew up in as a way to pay their last respects. 

RELATED: Aretha Franklin's pastor speaks of her passing

“She is what we call Detroit Love. She loved Detroit. We loved her,” said Carolyn Thompson. 

That’s why Thompson said Thursday is a tough day for her.

“Detroit is hurting," Thompson said. "Detroit is hurting.”

It's not just Detroit; people all over the world are hurting. The Queen of Soul has died.

“My heart is heavy, but I’m also rejoicing because my queen is not suffering,” said Thompson.

That was the mood outside of New Bethel Baptist Church Thursday as hundreds stopped by to pay their respect to Franklin. Some brought flowers, while others brought balloons. 

“Her music, her talent, a lot of her lyrics you know, really means a whole lot to the city of Detroit. She’s going to be missed,” said Willie ‘DJ Willie Cool” Goins. 

Goins, a local DJ, knows all about the ‘Good Ole Soul Vibe,' when you listen to the Queen of Soul. It’s her music that changed the sad vibe to a celebration outside her home church. 

“My favorite song (is) 'Rocksteady,' and when we were mourning or hurting, we heard her gospel, her voice like no other," said Thompson. 

“I like the song 'Respect,'" Goins said. "That song, when it came out, it made men across the globe start to respect women."

“I picture her over in glory, absent from the body, but present with the Lord,” said Thompson. 

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