Pink Cadillacs arrive for Aretha Franklin's funeral in Detroit
Why Aretha Franklins funeral will have pink Cadillacs
Aretha Franklin won 20 Grammys in her lifetime.
Family, friends, and fans of Aretha Franklin will gather in Detroit today to pay their final respects to the late singer. Franklin died on August 16 after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
The celebration of life will be held at Greater Grace Temple and is expected to last six and a half-hours.
One remarkable thing viewers will notice at the memorial will be the 120 pink Cadillacs lining the road leading up to the church. One of Franklin's biggest Grammy-winning songs, "Freeway of Love" serves as an inspiration for the tribute.
In the chorus, the Queen of Soul croons, "We're going riding on the freeway of love / In a pink Cadillac."
Franklin's fashionable video for "Freeway of Love" is an homage to her hometown Detroit, loaded with shots of the city's skyline, the Uniroyal Tire, the Motown Museum, local interstate signs and car factory images.
The black-and-white visuals end by turning to color as the songstress, wearing her classic white fur and playfully winking at the camera, drives off in the passenger seat of a pink Cadillac convertible with a blue Michigan license plate reading "RESPECT."
There were 120 pink Cadillacs in all. Paul Sancya/APImages
Crisette Ellis, first lady of Greater Grace Temple and an independent national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, was inspired by the idea while driving in her own pink Caddy.
Mary Kay rewards its top earners with the car, and Ellis' husband, Bishop Ellis wondered if they could emulate the motorcade and police cruises used in a fallen officers funeral as inspiration for the singer's homegoing observances.
Speaking with WXYZ Detroit, Ellis said she was honored to pay tribute to one of her favorite artists.
"Driving a pink Cadillac in our world says success. We get respect when we drive a pink Cadillac, so all I can imagine is that Ms.
Video: 'Sea' of pink Cadillacs line up outside Aretha Franklin's funeral
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