He ended by playing her song "Think" on his phone.
Civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were onstage to honor Franklin's contributions to black empowerment.
Aretha Franklin passed away without leaving a will behind. "Aretha commanded respect. She deservedly received it and also made it possible for others".
Family, friends and fans alike are gathered Friday in Detroit for a final farewell to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.
And boy, did they turn this unlikely setting into a party: singing and dancing to the performances, applauding and cheering to the moving tributes. He traced her life's journey and praised her as someone who "lived with courage, not without fear, but overcoming her fears". "She said, 'Well look at me, I finally got thin again, '" he recalled her joking to him.
That's the feeling shared by everyone here.
Amid the gospel, personal reflections and grief were calls to register and turnout to vote in November and condemnation of President Donald Trump, who, upon her death, referred to Franklin as "someone who worked for me" - a comment that rankled many African-Americans. "In fact, the last one I did was from Brazil, and the station that I was talking on covered all of South America".
Two hurricanes form in Eastern Pacific
The storm has gained a little more strength and is expected to move into the Central Pacific Basin (crossing 140 W) later today. Tropical Storm IdaSeptember 18, 2015 - Tropical Storm Ida forms.September 24, 2015 - Weakens to a tropical depression.
"After all she gave to the world, I felt we needed to give her an appropriate send-off that would match her legacy", Owens said. "In the example she set both as an artist and a citizen, Aretha embodied those most revered virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation".
Wilson, her entertainment attorney, says she would not have wanted to see her finances publicly aired: "She was a private person".
Outside, dozens more crowded around a large screen broadcasting the funeral at a nearby gas station, reclining in beach chairs or standing in the sun, applauding and laughing at all the speeches.
ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: All kinds of musicians were at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple to pay tribute to a legend and the raw power of her music.
"She bared her cross, she fought a good fight". Time to get a collection of the Queen's published works. She never told me, 'No, I don't want to do one.' She understood the need. "If Aretha can do it, I can do it too".
An arrangement from singer Sam Moore included a card that read, "You know I always adored and loved you to bits and pieces ..."
"There was the Queen of Soul, accompanied by members of the City Center Ballet Company", he recalled, with Franklin "doing well-rehearsed pirouettes and dancing with most impressive agility and dignity".