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Aretha Franklin gets her Way with new street naming

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- Amidst chants of "Aretha!" and "Hail to the Queen!," Aretha Franklin Way was unveiled by the Queen of Soul herself on Thursday, June 8, in downtown Detroit.

The secondary street is a section of Madison Ave. between Brush and Witherell streets. Franklin pulled the cover off the sign outside the 36th District Courthouse before a small gathering of family, friends and passersby coming from the Detroit Tigers game before posing for a series of photos in a yellow dress with gold trim.

Before that the Bloomfield Hills resident was presented with a proclamation at the nearby Music Hall Center by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, calling the street "a celebration of her noteworthy achievements." Jones also gave Franklin, 75, some gold Spirit of Detroit pins and noted that, "not only is she the Queen of Soul, she's the spirit of Detroit as well."

Franklin pronounced herself "weepy" upon receiving "this respendent and magnificent honor" and promised to be a frequent visitor. "I want to see it every time I come down," she said. "I'm going to dance on it."

The street naming was the kickoff event for the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, which also includes an all-star tribute to Franklin on Friday, June 9, at the Music Hall, where she'll perform during the finale. Franklin will then play a free concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, as part of a daylong festival in and around Music Hall. Other performers include Mitch Ryder, Josh Gracin, Laith al-Saadi, Tuxedo and more. Full information is available at detroitmusicweekend.org.

Web Site: detroitmusicweekend.org

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