Bill Clinton Pays Moving Tribute to Aretha Franklin: ‘She Has Sung for America’

Former president Bill Clinton paid tribute to Aretha Franklin during her star-studded funeral Friday at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple.

Addressing an audience filled with musicians, actors, religious leaders, politicians and other family and friends, Clinton stressed that Franklin lived not only with courage, but faith and power as well.

“She lived with faith, not without failure, but overcoming her failures. She lived with power, not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses,” Clinton said. “I just loved her.”

After calling himself a “groupie” he continued on: “I said, oh my God, this woman who has sung for America, when Dr. King was killed, all these political conventions, including mine… So I figured out, I think, that the secret to her greatness was she took this massive talent and this perfect culture that raised her and decided to be the composer of her own life’s song.”

Talking about the impact of Franklin on his own life, he also told the tale of how he and Hillary started out as fans just as both the singer and the power couple were getting their start.

“We started out as like Aretha groupies or something,” Clinton said.

He further recalled, “When we are getting out of college is when she finally got her big breakthroughs. It’s one thing I want to say to the people in the audience. She had the voice of generation, maybe the voice of a century.”

Clinton ended with this praise of Franklin: “You should remember in this time about this magnificent woman. She worked her can off to get where she was. She took the gifts God gave her and she kept getting a little bigger every day.”

He then took his phone out, put it towards the microphone, allowing Franklin’s song “Think” to fill the church.

“It’s the key to freedom,” Clinton said. “God bless you, Aretha. We love you!”

Watch above, via MSNBC

[image via screengrab]

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