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Aretha Franklin to be laid to rest on 31 August

A funeral for the iconic singer, who died at the age of 76 this week after battling cancer, will take place in hometown of Detroit.

Legendary US singer Aretha Franklin. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK – American music icon Aretha Franklin will be laid to rest at the end of the month.

A funeral for the iconic singer, who died at the age of 76 this week after battling cancer, will take place in hometown of Detroit.

According to Franklin’s publicist, a celebration of the singer's life will take place over four days of events.

Before the funeral there will be a public viewing of Franklin’s body 28 August and 29 August at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, according to the schedule.

Franklin’s funeral will be held at Greater Grace Temple on 31 August for close friends and family.

It’s understood she will be buried along with her late father and sisters in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Franklin, the preacher’s daughter who became the long-reigning “Queen of Soul” with such hits as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” died at her home in Detroit on Thursday at the age of 76, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Grammy-winning vocalist, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Detroit after moving there as a youngster with her family from Buffalo, New York. She got her start as a singer touring in her father’s gospel show when she was a teenager.

A lifelong friend and musical compatriot, Motown great Smokey Robinson, recalled in a Reuters TV interview that he met Franklin when she was just 5 or 6 years old, and heard her sing and play the piano “almost like she did as an adult.”

Fans pay tribute to Aretha Franklin at Harlem's Apollo Theater

Gwendolyn Quinn, a spokeswoman for the family, said she believed that the viewing would be open-casket but that those arrangements had not yet been finalised.