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Aretha Franklin memorial, concert planned in Detroit

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The Queen of Soul and Detroit native will be honored and celebrated across the city

Aretha Franklin performs onstage during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017.
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Detroit has lost a true icon, as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin died at the age of 76 on Thursday August 16. From the age of 4, Aretha called Detroit her home, and her singing career started at her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church. She recorded her first record at 14 on Hastings Street in Detroit.

From there, she recorded with Columbia and Atlantic Records and became an international star, with arguably one of the best voices in the world. She won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She performed for presidents and world leaders, and the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame deemed her voice “a precious natural resource.”

She’s known for her soulful voice, of course, but also for her empowering music and Civil Rights advocacy.

Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit is handling the funeral arrangements. Here are the details we know so far:

  • A musical tribute will be held at New Bethel Baptist Church at 6 p.m. August 27. Soul and gospel singers from Detroit and around the country will perform, and this will be open to the public.
  • Franklin will lie in state from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This will be open to the public.
  • A concert will be held August 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Chene Park, which holds about 6,000 people. The concert will include Gladys Knight, The Four Tops, Angie Stone, and many more. According to the announcement, activists will also speak about Aretha’s civil rights work. The event is free, but tickets are required. They will be available at 10 a.m. August 27 through Ticketmaster.
  • A funeral will be held for friends and family at Greater Grace Temple at 10 a.m. Aug. 31. Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, and more are expected to perform. Those with pink Cadillacs can create a Freeway of Love tribute. More info here.
  • She’ll be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery near fellow family members.