Former president Bill Clinton delivered a beautiful speech at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, honoring the Queen of Soul with sweet stories about their friendship. Watch his breathtaking tribute here.
Bill Clinton: Aretha Franklin stan. The former president took the stage at the Queen of Soul’s funeral on August 31 to pay tribute to his close friend, who happened to also be his idol, with a touching eulogy. He spoke of the good times they had together, how much he admired her soul and philanthropy — and even played “RESPECT” on his phone held up to a mic. Needless to say, it was a speech to remember.
“We’re not here as the president and first lady of the United States,” Bill started, referring to wife Hillary Clinton, who was sitting on stage with him. “We’re Aretha groupies. She had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of a century.” He stans! “This woman got us all here in these seats today, not because she had this breathtaking talent, which she did, not because she grew up as at least the princess of soul… but because she lived with courage. Not without fear, but because of her fears. She lived with faith. Not without failure, but overcoming her failure,” he said.
The president didn’t cry during his speech, but delivered it with joy. He even made a crack about Hillary not visiting Michigan during the presidential election. Ouch. He joked, asking God and Aretha’s family to forgive him first, that he wondered when her casket rolled in “what my friend was wearing today.” Aww!
“The secret to her greatness was she took this massive talent and decided to be the composer of her own lifestyle,” he said. “What a song that turned out to be. She worked her tail off to get where she was. She took the gifts god gave her, and she got a little better every day. It’s the key to freedom. God bless you Aretha, we love you.”
Bill Clinton on Aretha Franklin: "She lived with courage. Not without fear, but overcoming her fears.
"She lived with faith. Not without failure, but overcoming her failures.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 31, 2018
President Clinton joined a long list of speakers and performers, like Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, who honored the late Aretha Franklin at her funeral in Detroit on August 31. The Clintons and Aretha had been friends for decades, going back before he was elected president. Aretha sang at his inauguration, just as she later did for Barack Obama, in 1993. Years later into his presidency, he was given the great opportunity to award the music legend with the National Medal of Arts. Our thoughts go out to President Clinton, and the rest of the Queen of Soul’s friends, family, and admirers. It’s clear that she’s sorely missed. May she rest in peace.