Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama won’t travel to Detroit for Aretha Franklin’s funeral, the couple’s spokeswoman Katie Hill told the Detroit Free Press.
“Unfortunately, President and Mrs. Obama will not be able to attend Aretha Franklin’s services on Friday, but they have sent a letter, which the Rev. Al Sharpton will be reading during the service,” Hill said.
The Queen of Soul’s funeral will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Aug. 31 at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.
Obama and former President George W. Bush will deliver eulogies Saturday morning in Washington, D.C., for the late Sen. John McCain.
Over the years, Franklin performed at three presidential inaugurations – those of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Obama.
Clinton is scheduled to speak at Franklin’s funeral. Other speakers include Sharpton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, music mogul Clive Davis, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other local politicians.
There will also be a series of musical tributes with Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Fantasia,
Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, The Clark Sisters and other artists scheduled to perform.