Aretha Franklin’s funeral promises to be epic, with so many superstars paying musical tributes. Her son Edward will also perform in honor of his mom and we’ve got five things to know about him.
The late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin‘s Aug. 31 funeral promises to be one of the most star-studded goodbyes in history. It will feature musical guests including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder, as well as personal recollections by former President Bill Clinton, actor Tyler Perry and NBA great Isaiah Thomas. The iconic singer made sure to include her family in the celebration of her life. Her second child Edward Franklin will be part of a musical family tribute scheduled to take place at approximately 11:40am during the 9:30am-3pm EST epic service to remember Aretha. We’ve got five things to know about Edward ahead of the remembrance of his mother’s life.
1. Aretha gave birth to Edward at 14 after hooking up with a “player.”
She gave birth to first child Clarence at 13 and shortly afterwards became pregnant with Edward. His father was named as Edward Jordan, who Aretha described as a “player.” He and Clarence were often looked after by Aretha’s grandmother Rachel and sister Emma as her recording career took off.
2. Edward inherited his mother’s vocal talents.
He’s a remarkable singer in his own right, able to hit high notes the way his mom did. The two performed several duets and Edward sang at his grandfather Rev. C.L. Franklin June 7, 2015 funeral. His rendition of Aretha’s favorite gospel song “His Eye is On the Sparrow” left many in tears and he received a standing ovation.
3. Edward was once a suspect in a 2002 arson fire at Aretha’s Detroit mansion.
Aretha’s 10,000 square foot Bloomfield Township mansion burned to the ground in 2002. Billboard reported that traces of accelerants were found in at the scene and on Edward’s clothing. He was believed to be a suspect but was never charged in the case.
4, Edward was the victim of a brutal beating attack.
In 2010 he was at a Detroit gas station when he was badly injured in an attack by two men and a woman. He was rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery, although neither he or Aretha ever spoke publicly of the nature of the beating. No suspects were arrested.
5. Edward is the second of Aretha’s four sons.
In addition to Clarence who came before him, he also two more half brothers. Aretha married first husband Ted White in 1961 when she was 19 and three years later gave birth to Ted ‘Teddy’ White Jr. Her youngest son is Kecalf Cunningham, was born in 1970. His father was Aretha’s road manager Ken Cunningham.