AN ALL-STAR FAREWELL TO THE QUEEN OF SOUL

DETROIT (AP) — An all-star lineup of mourners filled a Detroit church with prayers and songs for Aretha Franklin's funeral today, honoring her not just as the Queen of Soul but also as a lifelong friend, family member, churchgoer and activist.

Guests included former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.

Fans had been lined up for hours outside the Greater Grace Temple when Franklin's white hearse pulled up. Floral arrangements from celebrities including Sam Moore, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand and the family of Otis Redding were set up in a hallway outside the sanctuary.

Mourners got a glimpse of the Franklin during an open casket viewing before the funeral began. She was dressed in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels.

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026226-w-453:60-(Ben Thomas, with The Reverend Jesse Jackson and musical performances by Faith Hill, Ariana Grande and the Clark Sisters.)-"I'm Ben Thomas (music fades)"-The Latest: Grandchildren honor Aretha Franklin (31 Aug 2018)

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FAMILY REMEMBERS HER COOKING, GIFTS

DETROIT (AP) — Aretha Franklin's family members have paid tribute to a woman who cooked for them, gossiped with them and passed on her gifts to them.

Victorie Franklin, a granddaughter, said she will always cherish being part of Franklin's legacy, recognizing parts of her grandmother in her. She said, "Nothing sounded better to me than my grandmother's voice."

Grandson Jordan directed his remarks directly to Aretha, frequently stopping to fight back tears. He told her "You showed the world God's love, and there's nothing more honorable."

Aretha's son, Edward, sang "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" by Marvin Gaye.

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FORMER PRESIDENTS PAY TRIBUTE

DETROIT (AP) — Bill Clinton memorialized Aretha Franklin as a woman with "breathtaking talent" who kept on charming audiences despite her illness. The former president recalled being an "Aretha groupie" all his life and being thrilled to meet her backstage at her last public performance, a benefit in Harlem for Elton John's AIDS charity last year. She was "gaunt" but went on to perform for 45 minutes. Clinton ended his remarks by playing Franklin's "Think" on his iPhone into the mic, saying "It's the key to freedom!"

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush didn't attend Aretha Franklin's funeral but they sent messages to honor the Queen of Soul. In a statement read by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Obama hailed Franklin for reflecting "very best of the American story." He said her music "captured some of our deepest human desires, namely affection and respect."

Bush's statement, read by Franklin friend Barbara Sampson, called Franklin "a woman of achievement with a deep character and a loving heart" who made "lasting contributions to American music with her gospel-inspired style and distinctive voice."

OTHER TRIBUTES

DETROIT (AP) — Motown great Smokey Robinson remembered first hearing Franklin play piano when he was just 8. He said the two remained close for the rest of her life, talking for hours at a time. Robinson crooned a few lines from his song "Really Gonna Miss You."

Faith Hill brought mourners to their feet when she sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Ariana Grande sang "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

The Rev. Al Sharpton recalled Franklin's activist side, noting she raised money for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and created "the soundtrack of the civil rights movement."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also took to the podium to announce a proposal to rename the city's waterfront Chene Park after Franklin. The mayor said: "When Aretha Franklin sang, it sounded like the voice of Detroit."

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EMINEM PICKS A BUSY DAY TO DROP HIS NEW ALBUM

NEW YORK (AP) — Eminem picked a busy day to surprise the world his new album. "Kamikaze" was released only hours before the funerals of Aretha Franklin and the Washington tribute to the late Sen. John McCain.

The 13-track CD includes the song "Venom," which will feature in the upcoming film of the same name. The disc also includes two songs featuring Jessie Reyez.

The cover shows the rear end of a fighter plane — recalling a similar cover of the Beastie Boys' 1986 album "Licensed to Ill." The rapper dropped the album just after midnight Thursday, tweeting: "Tried not 2 overthink this 1... enjoy."

The album doesn't find Eminem in a peaceful place. It kicks off with "The Ringer," in which he says he wants to "punch the world" in the face.

NBC-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

NEW YORK (AP) — Ronan Farrow's former producer at NBC News is criticizing his old network for failing to stick with the story about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct. Farrow eventually shared a Pulitzer Prize when he wrote the Weinstein story for the New Yorker magazine.

Rich McHugh, who just left NBC News as an investigative producer, said in a statement that "when you have an explosive story you never let it walk out the door."

Losing the story was a major embarrassment for NBC News. But NBC says that its management disagreed with Farrow over whether he had enough material to do the story, and Farrow pushed to leave.

VILLAGE VOICE TO CEASE PUBLICATION

NEW YORK (AP) — The publisher of The Village Voice says the venerable alternative weekly will cease publication.

Friday's announcement by Voice owner Peter Barbey comes three years after Barbey bought the paper and one year after it ceased publishing in print.

Barbey called Friday "a sad day for The Village Voice and millions of readers." He said the paper has been subject to "the increasingly harsh economic realities" facing those creating journalism. He said staff members have been working to ensure that the print archive of the Voice is made digitally accessible.

The Village Voice was the country's first alternative newsweekly, founded in 1955 by a group that included writer Norman Mailer. It has received three Pulitzer Prizes and many other awards over the years.