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Aretha Franklin Honored At Detroit Music Weekend

The Queen of Soul was feted over a three-day period as part of the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend festival with a street naming and a tribute concert, as well as her own free headline show in downtown Detroit that Franklin has said may be the last in her hometown.

… If that proves to be the case, Franklin left her Detroit fans — estimated by festival organizers at 14,000 — with a gracious finale. The hour-and-50-minute show brought out a batch of famous friends — including civil rights activist Jessie Jackson, Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, boxing champion Thomas Hearns, Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson and fellow musicians Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Freda Payne, Vickie Winans and Ivan Kral. … During a mid-show break Franklin also received a key to the city from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a Metropolitan Detroit Virtuoso Award from Franklin’s opera coach Mary Lynch.

Read more at Billboard.

Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ Hit #1 50 Years Ago This Week

One of the most significant milestones of Aretha Franklin’s career came 50 years ago this week, when her single “Respect” muscled the Young Rascals out of No. 1 to top the Billboard Hot 100. The defiant soul anthem was Franklin’s first pop chart-topper and cemented its place as her defining song.

“Wow, really?!” she said Thursday when told of this week’s anniversary. “Well, ‘Respect’ is standing up, as Jerry Wexler used to say.”

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

Aretha Franklin Planning New Album With Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie & Elton John

Aretha Franklin is hard at work on a new album she hopes to have out in January, featuring collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Elton John (on a version of “Your Song”), Lionel Richie and Yitzhak Perlman. “Lionel’s working on his piece, Stevie’s working on his piece; they’re both originals,” Franklin, who’s co-executive-producing the album, tells Billboard. “I’m working on a couple of things. I think there will be about 10 [songs] on it, maybe 11, but I’m thinking 10.” No title has been determined yet for the album, which will be Franklin’s first studio set since 2014’s Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.

Read more at Billboard.