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BET Networks to Broadcast Live, Commercial-Free Coverage of Aretha Franklin's Funeral Service

BET Networks to Broadcast Live, Commercial-Free Coverage of Aretha Franklin's Funeral Service

From "I Say A Little Prayer" to "Think" to her signature classic "RESPECT," Aretha Franklin was a musical phenomenon and a transcendent figure in American culture. As the nation mourns the passing of the 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin, BET Networks will commemorate her life and legacy by broadcasting Aretha Franklin's funeral service in its entirety beginning Friday, August 31 at 10 AM ET on BET, BET Her and

BET's commercial-free, live coverage will be hosted by BET News Correspondent Marc Lamont Hill from our Times Square studio in New York City. Marc will be joined in studio by noted cultural and music critic Emil Wilbekin who will provide additional commentary. The memorial service held at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit is scheduled to include speeches by former President Bill Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tyler Perry, Cicely Tyson, Clive Davis, Michael Eric Dyson and is scheduled to feature performances by Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Faith Hill, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Ariana Grande, The Clark Sisters, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Jennifer Holiday.

BET celebrated Aretha's incredible work at BET HONORS 2014 and will further honor the 'Queen of Soul' at our upcoming Black Girls Rock! Awards airing Sunday, September 9 at 8 PM ET/PT.

Twice voted as the Number One Greatest Singer of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine, Franklin is the recipient of the U.S.A.'s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as 18 competitive Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy Living Legend honor. She was the youngest individual ever to receive the coveted KENNEDY Center Honor; the first female inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; the second female inductee into the UK Music Hall of Fame; and an inductee into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Aretha was the first woman and fourth artist in history to achieve 100 R&B Billboard charted singles.

For up-to-the-minute details on Aretha Franklin's services including video and editorial content, please visit and follow @BET & @BETNews for the latest news and developments.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA)(NASDAQ:VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, France and South Korea. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER (formerly CENTRIC), a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET's growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.

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