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Home is where Aretha Franklin's heart is

for Journal Register Newspapers

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Aretha Franklin's renown is worldwide; she is, after all, the reigning Queen of Soul. But, she acknowledges, there's no place like home.

"It's always special to play Detroit. That's home," says Franklin, 70, who was born in Memphis but raised in Detroit and now resides in Bloomfield Hills. "I have family here. I have friends. It's more like a party than a concert when I play there."

And, she adds, there's a particular affinity for the city's Fox Theatre, where she performs this weekend. "It's a beautiful, historic building and a wonderful place to perform. I always look forward to going there," says Franklin, who performed last Aug. 25 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Much has happened during the 10 months since Franklin's last home town show. Shortly after that she performed at President Barack Obama's Labor Day rally in Detroit's Hart Plaza. In November she was honored at the 16th Annual American Music Masters series presented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She appeared on Tony Bennett's "Duets II" album, joining her fellow icon on "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?," and earlier this month Franklin received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Princeton University.

Besides performing live, Franklin is working on a follow-up to her 2011 album "A Woman Falling Out of Love" (she canceled plans to wed longtime boyfriend Willie Wilkerson last year) and she's overseeing a biographical film currently slated to star singer Audra McDonald as Franklin. -- Gary Graff

Aretha Franklin performs at 8 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $75 and $35.50. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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