DETROIT — The Latest on the first day of a public viewing of Aretha Franklin at a storied Detroit museum (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

In a final act of sisterhood, hundreds of members of Delta Sigma Theta have paid tribute to their soror, Aretha Franklin on Tuesday night.

The sorority's traditional Omega Omega service lasted nearly an hour. Franklin, who was inducted into Delta Sigma Theta as an honorary member in 1992, was remembered as for her regal presence and love of her community — traits they say embody the organization's virtues.

A sea of women wearing black, many with purple corsages and pearl necklaces, saluted Franklin with song, scripture and words. The procession into the Ford Motor Rotunda lasted more than ten minutes, and the overflow crowd of more than 1,000 filled the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Franklin died Aug. 16 and will be laid to rest on Friday after several days of tributes in Detroit.

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12:45 p.m.

The funeral home providing services for Aretha Franklin says the legendary singer paid the expenses of many families who could not afford to bury their loved ones.

Linda Swanson, executive vice president of Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit, said Tuesday her family has long been close with the Franklin family. She says it was nothing for Franklin to call the funeral home and take care of families in financial need — "usually in full without being asked or prompted to do so."

Swanson says many people attending Franklin's two-day public viewing at a Detroit museum "are here because they were blessed by her big heart and her desire to reach beyond the boundaries of her own success and touch others."

Sixty-four-year Detroit resident Cheryl Matthews attended the viewing and says it was "fit for a Queen." She says while she never met Franklin, it felt like she could be a sister or an aunt because "she's always been here."

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11:20 a.m.

Aretha Franklin's niece says she and others who helped plan a public viewing in Detroit wanted to give the Queen of Soul a send-off that "would match her legacy."

Sabrina Owens told The Associated Press on Tuesday the roses surrounding Franklin's gold-plated casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History reflect her love for the flower and her propensity to send arrangements "in grand fashion."

Franklin was dressed in red to symbolize her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

To Owens, the dress — with its ornamental elements and sheer netting fabric — looks like something Franklin would wear onstage and "something she would have selected for herself."

For all the formality, however, Owens says the viewings are intended to be welcoming and accessible for her legions of fans.

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9:30 a.m.

A public viewing for Aretha Franklin is underway in Detroit and is prompting people from as far away as Miami and Las Vegas to pay their final respects.

People are approaching the gold-plated casket inside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to the sounds of Franklin's gospel recordings. They find Franklin in repose, legs crossed at the ankles. The casket is surrounded by roses of varying colors.

As people approached, they cried, crossed themselves, bowed their heads or blew kisses.

Museum board member Kelly Major Green says the goal was to create an environment akin to a church, the place where Franklin got her start.

Tammy Gibson of Chicago says she lined up outside about 5:30 a.m. She came alone but made fast friends with others who sang and reminisced.

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7:30 a.m.

Hundreds of people are lining up to pay their final respects to Aretha Franklin.

Fans outside Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History have been talking about their memories of the Queen of Soul as they wait before dawn Tuesday for the start of public viewing. Occasionally the crowd bursts into song.

Many of those in line are from Detroit, but others traveled from as far as Las Vegas and Miami.

Paula Marie Seniors says the setting for the public viewings Tuesday and Wednesday couldn't be more fitting. The associate professor of Africana studies at Virginia Tech says Franklin is "being honored almost like a queen at one of the most important black museums in the United States."

Franklin died Aug. 16 at age 76 of pancreatic cancer.

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12 a.m.

Thousands are expected to pour into Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Tuesday and Wednesday to pay their final respects to Aretha Franklin.

Paula Marie Seniors says the setting for the public viewings Tuesday and Wednesday couldn't be more fitting. The associate professor of Africana studies at Virginia Tech says Franklin is "being honored almost like a queen at one of the most important black museums in the United States."

Seniors says the Queen of Soul was "a singer of the universe." Yet she added Franklin, who died at age 76 on Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer, also was "so unapologetically black" and "so proud of being a black woman."

The museum hosted a similar viewing for civil rights icon Rosa Parks after her 2005 death.