Aretha Franklin's eulogist -- Jasper Williams Jr. -- has come under fire for his controversial comments made during her funeral service. Relatives believe that Williams used the time that should have been dedicated to the singer to push his personal agenda. Rather than apologize, however, the fiery preacher is pushing back. He was interviewed by the Associated Press over the phone, and in the interview, he stated that he stands firm on every word he spoke. The preacher pointed out that he was the only one asked to eulogize the music icon and that he had the right to speak what was in his heart.

He added that as he had to wait seven hours to speak, he said exactly what was on his mind.

Jasper Williams Jr. defends his comments

Pastor Williams said that he expects controversy, so he was not surprised by the Franklin family saying that he did not properly eulogize the Queen of Soul. He has come under fire for speaking about Black Lives Matter and the current economic state of African-Americans. Williams indicated that he does not entertain negative criticism and believes he did what he was asked to do.

Jasper Williams Jr. told reporters that he used scripture from "The Book of Genesis" in the "Bible" (about God creating a living soul) and connected it to Aretha Franklin. From his perspective, he delivered the message that he believed was called for at that particular time.

The minister said he is not troubled by the statement made by Aretha Franklin's nephew, Vaughn.

Pastor explains his view on single mothers

According to The New York Times and Fox News, Vaughn Franklin said that his family believes that the words of Jasper Williams Jr. regarding Black Lives Matter and single mothers needing a man to help raise their children were distasteful and offensive.

Pastor Williams' response is that Aretha Franklin herself (and other family members) asked him to perform the funeral service. He added that his family and the relatives of the Queen of Soul go back generations.

Pastor Williams explained that he was not putting single parents down, merely addressing his belief that mothers cannot adequately teach African-American boys how to be men.


According to Williams, his eulogy was appropriate, and he had the right to say what he wanted because he was asked to speak at Aretha Franklin's service. He ended the interview by emphasizing that even when we disagree, we can be kind enough to show respect (as Franklin sang about) and listen to what others are saying.