DETROIT (CBS DETROIT/AP) — Today the Queen of Soul would have turned 77-years-old.

Family members are celebrating Aretha Franklin’s life on her birthday with a memorial service and a screening of a new documentary film.

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The service was held Monday inside a chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit. Franklin died last year after battling pancreatic cancer and was laid to rest inside a crypt not far from Woodlawn’s chapel.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece, says “our family thought it might be a good idea for us to start the day the right way — in prayer.” Those who attended remembered not only the legendary singer but also other departed members of the Franklin family.

Several celebrities took to Twitter to wish the Queen a Happy Birthday, including Detroit’s own rapper, Big Sean who is also celebrating a birthday today.


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Later Monday, the Detroit Institute of Arts will host the premiere of “Amazing Grace,” which chronicles Franklin’s 1972 performance at a Los Angeles church.

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