Even in death, Aretha Franklin is still making headlines with her style.
The body of the Queen of Soul, who died on August 16 at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, has been on display in Detroit for the past three days dressed in a trio of stylish outfits — with yet another wardrobe change for today’s funeral.
Franklin’s hairdresser of 35 years, Carlton Northern, was responsible for the “Natural Woman” singer’s final beauty look, a short crop of curls. He said he approached the job the same way he would any of Franklin’s requests.
“I talked to her and thought about some of the things she would say to me, like ‘Don’t mess up my makeup, Carlton,’ or ‘OK, Carlton, let it whip!’ She would often fall asleep while I’d be doing her hair, so it seemed to me that this was like that, too,” he told the Daily Beast.
Northern, 64, met Franklin when he was in his twenties and apprenticing at a salon in Detroit. His first job with the musical icon involved dyeing her hair blonde for the cover of her 1983 album “Get it Right” — a process Northern said involved some trial and error, but also earned him an album credit in the end.
“It said, ‘He did it until he got it right,” Northern told the publication. “It was an inside joke.”
The hairstylist also said that Franklin always praised him when she loved her look. “I’d give her the mirror, and she’d either say, ‘It’s whipped, it’s whipped,’ or ‘I’m ready for my close up,’” Northern recalled.
After nearly four decades spent traveling the world with Franklin — doing her hair for multiple visits to the White House and other major events — Northern visited the ailing star, who asked him to style her curls one last time.
“She said, ‘You got me?’ I looked at her and said, ‘All the way, Aretha.’”
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