Categories: American NewsOpinionPolitics

What went wrong with Aretha Franklin’s funeral ceremony

Aretha Franklin’s funeral was the talk of the town this past weekend, and as video footage suggests, it was more than just a tad scandalous. 

Ariana Grande, Bill Clinton, three reverends and a senior pastor walk into a funeral and this is how things go wrong.

Grande, the inappropriately dressed pop star

If you haven’t already seen the video, YouTube search it or check this one here, which shows just one sketchy piece of the puzzle:

For those who don’t know, Ariana Grande is an international pop sensation.  The video above shows that the pop star does not look like she is appropriately dressed for the funeral whatsoever.

When Grande begins singing a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s song ‘Natural Woman’ in homage to the fallen musician, a shot of the video footage of the already controversial former President, Bill Clinton, who is supposed to be a pillar of security, looks like he never shed that dreaded Monica Lewinsky-era behaviour as he looks Ariana Grande up and down like a thick piece of steak.

Clinton, the three reverends, and a too-touchy Pastor

Bill Clinton just walking into the ceremony with wife Hillary was already sufficient enough to claim that this whole event was starting off on the wrong foot, because, apart from his ogling, Bill shared a platform with three notoriously racist anti-Semites: Reverend Louis Farrakhan, famous for claiming Jews are satanic, Reverend Al Sharpton, known for inciting riots in Crown Heights, New York, and Reverend Jesse Jackson, the guy who referred to New York as ‘Hymietown’.

People were dissatisfied with Clinton sitting next to ‘Black Hitler’ Farrakhan (what was he doing there anyways?).  Moreover, Sharpton’s eulogy speech patently included a jab at President Trump, when he declared that the late Franklin never worked for the President.

As though Grande wasn’t (dare I say it) objectified enough, the Bishop charged with leading the ceremony, Charles Ellis III, was also behaving in a manner with the young star that most would deem unpalatable.

The Bishop began a speech with Grande on stage, approaching her and grabbing her by her upper body, visibly groping the young lady.  He then pulled her in claiming that when he saw her on the program thought she was a “new something at Taco Bell”.

Don’t believe it?  Watch it all here:

Grande appeared visibly uncomfortable for most of the time.

Perhaps the most interesting conclusion to draw from this whole shady situation is the fact that Franklin’s family was unhappy with a 50-minute eulogy by the Senior Pastor, Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. who, in his speech, discussed the circumstances of the high number of fatherless black families, as well as the black-on-black crime rate.  Aretha Franklin’s family later stated that they were discontent with the “negative agenda” the Pastor perpetuated.

The Bishop who groped Grande has since apologized.  But we all know the story of the wolf hiding in Grandma’s clothing trying to prey on poor Red.

More wrong than right

Given ex-President Clinton’s poor track record with women, and now his very suggestive body language looking at Grande, as well as the cringe-worthy scenario Grande was left in with the Bishop, I think it’s safe to say, most unfortunately, that some things just never change, no matter how exploited by the media these stories are.

Between Grande’s outfit, a former President behaving unfashionably, the invitations of three outstandingly racist Reverends who share the stage with Clinton, the groping scandal on the pop star, and Franklin’s family unappreciative of Rev. Jasper Williams I think more was wrong with this funeral than right.

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Jonathan Wasserlauf

Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.


  • Every word ever spoken by Farrakhan has been proven true. So, the REAL issue is that people have a problem with courageous men that speak unpleasant truths. Everyone in that room should’ve been honored to be in the presence of such a great one as Minister Farrakhan.

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Jonathan Wasserlauf

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