DETROIT (WJBK) - One day after news spread across the globe that the Queen of Soul is gone, Detroiters flocked to the epicenter of where Aretha Franklin would want them -- at her father's church.
Wiping tears from their eyes and rain drops from their speakers, fans celebrated her life outside the New Bethel Baptist Church that became the unofficial memorial for a woman who gave so much to her congregation.
Her work spanned 60 years and multiple generations.
"She just has a beautiful, strong voice but I think no one has. I can't top her," WHO said.
The woman who would be named the all-time greatest singer by Rolling Stone couldn't be topped or stopped.
"Aretha means so much to so many people. She belongs to the Franklins, she belongs to Detroit, she belongs to Memphis, she belongs to the world," said Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Jackson was able to kiss her on her head and her hand on one of her final days in side of her high-rise riverfront home. A funeral will be held at Greater Grace Temple will only be for family and invited guests, but a viewing will be open to the public at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, a home-going that will happen not far from her home church.
"Every airplane has a landing strip it takes off from and lands. She never forgot the church," Jackson said.
Visitors come to say thank you to a place where if the walls could talk, they would tell you it began here.
"Just to think that she started here. Her name's on the building. Her father's name is on the building. This is Detroit. She was Detroit," WHO said.