Fans from all over America lined the sidewalks surrounding the Charles H. Wright African American Museum, where the Queen of Soul's body will lie in repose for two days, ahead of a memorial and funeral in the city she called home.
Herman Phillips, another fan who spent time at the viewing Wednesday, shared his own personal connection to Franklin.
CECELIA MCPHERSON: Beautiful - she looked beautiful.
A free tribute concert honouring Franklin's life will be held late on Thursday, on the eve of her funeral at the Greater Grace Temple, where Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson are among stars expected to perform.
Say what you will about Tay, but girl knows how to honor a legend. "We are honored to have had her as part of our illustrious sisterhood", president and chief executive Beverly E. Smith said August 16, the day she died.
Still a diva even in death, Aretha Franklin was wearing a different outfit when she arrived at the Detroit museum Wednesday morning for Day 2 of her public viewing. The dress was a tribute to the Delta Sigma Theta, a sorority of African-American women of which Franklin was an honorary member.
"For more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine", the Obamas wrote.
"She's probably one of the strongest people that I've ever known and didn't know that she was that strong, but I think it was that spiritual part that kept her going", Ellis said. "I say, 'No, but I grew up with her!'" Ms Jones said. "And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance", they continued.
Owens said a group of family, friends and supporters dubbed "Aretha's angels" have worked tirelessly to pull it all together.
"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart", the statement reads.