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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.

Aretha Franklin Detroit Music Weekend Details

Aretha Franklin will perform a 90-minute concert at 6 p.m. June 10 for free as part of Detroit Music Weekend, a four-day concert in Detroit’s entertainment district June 8-11. A Franklin tribute also will be held on June 9, a ticketed event at Music Hall Center featuring the Detroit SuperBAND — a collection of players including members of Kid Rock and Aretha Franklin’s bands — and vocalists including Mitch Ryder and Thornetta Davis. Tickets begin at $25.

In addition, the city of Detroit will declare a section of Madison Street — between Brush Street and Witherall Street — “Aretha Franklin Way” during a dedication ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. June 8.

Read more at The Detroit News.

Detroit To Name Street For Aretha Franklin – Detroit Free Press

Aretha Franklin’s name will soon be gracing a Detroit street. Details of the street renaming, along with information on a presentation of a key to the city, will be announced May 4 by city officials as part of a media event formally introducing Detroit Music Weekend, a new summer festival in the city’s theater district. As reported by the Free Press, Franklin will headline the fest with a free outdoor performance.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

Aretha Franklin Is Still The Queen – Chicago Tribune

Listening to Aretha Franklin speak is like listening to someone who knows how the game ends, so self-assured at this point of her life that stories about performances or records are just great stories as opposed to milestone moments.

… Though Franklin announced earlier this year that she would be retiring from touring, looking to do one or two concerts across a few months, she’s not passing that torch any time soon. “The future of soul music? Me, because I’m not quitting. I’m not sitting down.”

She’s starting a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, which includes a duet with Jamie Foxx, at the end of April, and says it will be some of the “best and greatest music you’ve ever heard.”

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

Aretha Franklin’s Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Hits

As the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in 1987), and an Icon honoree at Billboard’s 2014 Women in Music celebration, Aretha Franklin is a revered living legend and one of the most prolific singers of our time. On her 75th birthday, Billboard honors Franklin with a look at her biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits.

View and listen to the list at Billboard.

Aretha Franklin Begins Recording New Album In Detroit

DETROIT – The Queen of Soul is back in the recording studio, and she invited Local 4 cameras inside. Aretha Franklin is teaming up with Stevie Wonder for her brand-new album, which is being recorded in Detroit.

… In addition to “Mary, Did You Know?” the album will include “What’s Going On?” which includes Aretha’s son, Eddie Franklin, as a backup singer. The album is scheduled to be released in September, Franklin said.

Franklin said, along with an array of other producers, “I’ll be producing and writing myself. I haven’t done that in a long time. It’s just going to be me and my piano on some things.”

Read more at WDIV.