DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Aretha Franklin’s home town of Detroit has named a street after her ahead of a free concert this weekend.
A section of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell, was named for The Queen of Soul on Thursday. The area is the heart of a performing arts district that includes the Detroit Opera House.
Franklin told a crowd gathered at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts that she knew she would “get weepy” by the honor.
The 75-year-old Franklin, who is atop Rolling Stone’s all-time greatest singers list, thanked the Detroit City Council for the honor, which she called magnificent. She went on to recall her youthful days skating at the Arcadia Ballroom and singing at the Flame Show Bar.
The street-naming launched four days of events for the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, designed to showcase the city’s artists.
As the headliner, Franklin will be performing a free show on Saturday.
Vince Paul of Detroit Music Hall, who helped to organize the festival, is pretty excited about it.
“We’re tickled; we’re delighted!” he told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “I just feel that if you live in Michigan and you have an opportunity to see what is possibly her final performance, in Detroit on Madison Avenue, for free…yeah. You should be here.”
“You don’t want your grandkids saying, like, what? You missed out on that? I don’t want to be that guy.”
The iconic singer in February announced she would retire this year, with one more album planned.
[Get festival details at detroitmusicweekend.org.]
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