Throughout history, Detroit has groomed its fair share of world icons that have gone on to the great beyond. Make room for one more. When musical legend Aretha Louise Franklin, passed away last week at age 76, people from around the globe took notice. The amazing career of another famous Detroiter is now complete.
For six decades, Aretha mesmerized her audiences as a singer, songwriter and pianist. Gospel, rhythm & blues, jazz, opera - she did it all with seemingly great ease. From her musical beginnings at her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church to some of the world’s greatest stages, Aretha showcased her talented voice to the fullest. She earned numerous top recording hits, 18 Grammy Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll and Gospel Music Hall of Fames as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A perfect tribute for a musical artist who used her fame and fortune to support civil rights and philanthropic causes at home and abroad. She always persevered and never let obstacles become excuses or barriers for not making herself a success.
From Tuesday through Friday, the national spotlight will once again be on Detroit as our city rolls out a red carpet memorial tribute to Aretha. From public viewings at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and New Bethel Baptist Church, to a musical tribute at Chene Park, to a private funeral at Greater Grace Temple, it promises to be a grand and fitting farewell for America’s one and only Queen of Soul!
I’m Chuck Stokes, Editorial Director
Broadcast: August 23 - 26, 2018