A crowd gather at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 8, in honor of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul reveled in the reveal of a new street name, “Aretha Franklin Way.”
“I knew I would get weepy when I got down here,” she told the crowd before thanking the city for the honor. “Every time I come down here, I want to see it,” she said. “I’m gonna dance down it. Thank you.”
Detroit was home to Franklin for many years after moving from Memphis in 1946 from Memphis, Tennessee, when her father became pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church. Since her move, “The Motor City” has held a special place in her heart.
“Detroit has been with me ever since,” she shared. “They were with me when no one else knew who I was and I’ve been with them every step of the way.”
The renaming of the street has significant value as the cross streets of Madison and Brush (the site of the Music Hall) has seen Franklin during her youth and humble beginnings. Not only did she preform there but the it was also used by her father’s church during occasional Easter Sunday services.