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Aretha Franklin tribute concert sells out, show details announced

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

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Even in death, Aretha Franklin is a sold-out attraction.

The 6,000 or so free tickets for the A People’s Tribute To The Queen concert on Thursday, Aug. 30, at Detroit's Chene Park Amphitheatre were gone less than a half hour after they became available on Monday, Aug. 27, according to the venue. Spokeswoman Chandra Lewis said that fans should "stay tuned for further event, broadcast and streaming updates," indicating that even those without tickets will get a chance to see the show, which will feature performances by Gladys Knight, the four Tops, Johnny Gill, Raheem DeVaughan, Angie Stone and more.

The venue also released a rundown for the three hour show, which include an R&B Tribute during which onetime Franklin producer Narada Michael Walden will perform "Freeway of Love," which he co-wrote for Franklin. Veteran Detroit musician Kern Brantley will direct that portion of the show, which will include a variety of Detroit singers -- including Cherri Black, Steffinie Christian, Gwen Fexx, Kimmie Horne, Alise King, L'Renee and others -- as well as Four Tops member Ronnie McNeir’s performance of a song he's written for the forthcoming Franklin biopic.

Franklin bassist Ralphe Armstrong will helm a Jazz and Blues tribute featuring Bridgewater, Jean Carne, Joan Belgrave, Thornetta Davis and Doug Carn. A Gospel tribute will feature Tasha Page-Lockhart, Kierra "KiKi" Sheard, Kathy Taylor, Derrick Starks and more. Dave Hollister, L.J. Reynolds, Keith Washington and Tweet will be part of the All-Star Tribute, while all of the performers are slated to join forces for a finale rendition of Franklin's anthem "Respect."

There will also be remarks during the night by filmmaker Tyler Perry, actresses Jennifer Lewis and Erica Peeples, Judge Greg Mathis and more, while Franklin's son Eddie and her granddaughters Gracie and Victorie Franklin will offer "a special tribute."

For more details visit cheneparkdetroit.com.

Franklin passed away on Aug. 16 at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Public viewings will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 28-19, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History and on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the New Bethel Baptist Church, both in Detroit. Franklin's funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and is limited to friends, family and invited guests.

Web Site: www.cheneparkdetroit.com

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