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Aretha Franklin family found reverend's eulogy 'distasteful'

FRANKLIN FUNERAL: Cristal Franklin, left, hugs Vaughn Franklin as Victorie Franklin, far left, and Jordan Franklin (rear) look on during the during the service

ARETHA FRANKLIN’S family have expressed their distaste at the eulogy delivered at her funeral.

Reverend Jasper Williams Jr addressed the congregation at the Queen of Soul’s funeral, which was televised around the world, last week Friday.

The eulogy Williams delivered featured a string of controversial statements such as “black lives do not matter”. He also said that black women can’t raise black boys to be men and that homes without father’s were abortion after birth.

The reverend also spent a significant amount of time talking about Franklin’s father, CL Franklin, a minister and civil rights activist.

Vaughn, the soul singer’s nephew, said: "He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogise her.

"It has been very, very distasteful."

In a statement reported by the BBC, the family said: "We feel that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. used this platform to push his negative agenda, which as a family, we do not agree with.”

When Stevie Wonder took to the stage to close the funeral, he shouted out “black lives matter” a response to Williams’ comments.

Other reports state that mourners could be heard saying: “Talk about Aretha.”

Williams said his statements, which included the claim that "black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves", had been misunderstood.

"I'm sure much of the negativity is due to the fact that they don't understand what I'm talking about," the BBC reported he said.


MOURNING: People around the world tuned in to see the Queen of Soul's life celebrated

According to Franklin’s nephew, the singer had not requested Williams to speak at her funeral but he was chosen by the family as he had delivered the eulogy at the funerals of other relatives.

The I Say a Little Prayer singer’s funeral was also at the centre of controversy for the actions of another member of the Church.

Bishop Charles H Ellis III was lambasted for his treatment of pop singer Ariana Grande.

Viewers accused the bishop of groping the 25-year-old on stage.

Ellis, who hugged each artist – male and female – at the event, apologised after a backlash against him ensued.

He told the Associated Press: "It would never be my intention to touch any woman's breast.

"Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar.

"But again, I apologise."

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