Vigil for Aretha Franklin set for Friday at her Memphis birthplace


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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Aretha Franklin fans in Memphis can pay homage to the Queen of Soul at her birthplace during a sunset vigil Friday.

Fans will gather at the Franklin family’s former home at 406 Lucy Avenue in South Memphis from 5:30-6 p.m.

Pastors Dr. Eli Morris, Senior Associate Pastor of Hope Church, and Walter Rayburn of New Salem MBC, are slated to speak and pray. New Salem MBC was the church Aretha’s Franklin’s father, C.L. Franklin, pastored from 1942 to 1944.

Jeffrey Higgs of South Memphis Renewal Community Corp., the receiver of the home as designated by Environmental Court Judge Patrick Dandridge, will be on hand as well Gebre Waddell, CEO of Memphis-based Soundways, who recently started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the home’s eventual restoration. Higgs and Waddell are the organizers of the event.

Students of the Stax Music Academy will perform three songs made famous by Franklin: “Amazing Grace,” “Say A Little Prayer” and “Soulsville.”

Franklin died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. The Memphis vigil will take place after the singer’s homegoing service in Detroit.

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