Aretha Franklin lies in her casket at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History during a public visitation in Detroit on August 28, 2018.
In the evening a free concert honoring Franklin's life is to kick off at 6pm at the Chene Park Amphitheatre, an outdoor riverfront arena in downtown Detroit that has 5,000 seats and 1,000 lawn spaces.
"I feel that I'm a privileged one because I sang in a choir with Aretha when I joined her father's church, in a young adult choir", Phillips said.
Franklin's songs and appearances with Martin Luther King Jr. helped to make her one of the faces of the Civil Rights Movement and her niece said she thought of Detroit's first black mayor Coleman A. Young and civil rights icon Rosa Park's services when she made a decision to have Franklin lie in repose.
MCPHERSON: I've met a lot of different people because of this Aretha hat. Franklin urged us to, 'Let's make the choice: We stand as one because divided we fail.' Her plea is as timeless today as it was more than a decade ago.
Australia's new PM announces Cabinet World News
Chaos erupted: government ministers offered their resignations and key political figures switched sides. Instead, they support coal-fired power and oppose climate action and emissions targets.
The singer stayed silent for almost a full minute in front of a star-studded backdrop, before concluding, "We love you, Aretha".
Felicia Phillips, 57, who queued up at 5 am for what she described as about 20 seconds of viewing time, was drying her tears as she left the museum.
"What we wanted to do is be reflective of the Queen", Ms Green said.
Franklin will be laid to rest on Friday, with her funeral closed to friends and family only.
"It just felt so final", she said of her experience at the viewing. Those who lingered, she said, were sternly told to keep going. "She had a smile on her face".
CECELIA MCPHERSON: Beautiful - she looked beautiful.