Immediately following Aretha Franklin's memorial service, social media blew up with its number one critique, Ariana Grande's "inappropriate" funeral attire. Many say the dress was too short, but I say your eyes were in the wrong place and there were a few other things to be upset about, none of which include a woman's clothing.
1. Faith Hill's rendition of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."
It simply was not good and we all know it. The high notes were a struggle, the low notes were flat, and there was not a single ounce of soul in that song. It was so strained, MY throat was hurting. And it's not just me, from audience reaction, the congregation wasn't impressed either.
2. Bill and Hillary Clinton's presence.
...considering Ms. Franklin was an activist and supporter of Black Lives Matter, I wonder why Former President "Three Strikes," and Former Senator "super-preditor" were in attendance and sitting at the pulpit, at that.
3. Chaka Khan reading her lyrics off the back of her fan.
Now, I get that no one really has a dress rehearsal for a funeral, but dammit, girl, you had at least 7 hours before your performance to learn those lyrics. Not only did the Queen of Funk not memorize the lyrics to "Goin' Up Yonder," but she attached a printed copy to the back of her fan, visible to both the audience and camera.
4. Ariana Grande's rendition of "Natural Woman."
Now, I'm not an Ariana Grande hater, but I'm also not a fan. I know the girl can sing because I hear it, but I also heard her sing at the homegoing for The Queen of Soul, and that was not singing. According to Whoopi Goldberg, she was asked to perform the song after The Queen's family heard her rendition (I'm assuming on Jimmy Fallon) Two questions, why didn't she sing it the way she did on Jimmy? And why didn't anyone turn on her microphone?
5. Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr.'s eulogy.
"One thing a Black woman cannot do is raise a Black boy to be a man." Those were the words Reverand Williams shouted over the body of a Black woman who raised all four of her Black boys into Black men.
About 9 hours into the memorial, this "eulogist," handpicked by The Queen, herself, used his 50 minutes to take Black America to task. He criticized "black-on-black crime" (which isn't a thing, but okay) and likened rioting to simply "destroying property and looting." Called black men soulless and critiqued the disappearance of the Black father. And then condemned gay relationships, single mothers raising sons by themselves, and the Black Lives Matter movement altogether. He also found time to call Black people "low down" and squabble something about us all being high and drunk.
6. Aretha Franklin's father.
The constant mention of Aretha's father, the late Reverend C.L. Frankin who raped and impregnated a 12-year-old girl from his congregation when he was 25.
7. Its length.
I know and R.E.S.P.E.C.T that Ms. Aretha was The Queen, but a 12-hour funeral. Really? Three hours in, I left for work and when I came home and it was still on.
8. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III.
...and then there was the Bishop's hand on Ariana Grande's tit. A spot in which it purposely stayed for way too long. And no, I don't think it was an accident. If I hug someone, I know the difference between a rib and a round, smooshy tit, especially after I readjust my fingers multiple times.
All in all, I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It was a beautiful and thoughtful service fit for a Queen.