Aretha Franklin Honored During Festivities In Detroit
The city of Detroit honored the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin during Detroit Music Weekend held June 9th through the 11th. The 18 time Grammy winner known around the world for her song RESPECT began her music career at her father’s church, the New Bethel Baptist Church and was influenced by the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward, Rev. James Cleveland, Albertina Walker and the Caravans and Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers. Her album, Amazing Grace recorded in 1972 holds the record as the highest selling live Gospel album to date with over 2 millions albums sold.
Franklin was honored with a street renamed in her honor on Thursday, June 8th. The Gospel Music community was well represented by performances from Karen Clark Sheard singing Franklin’s Oh Mary Don’t You Weep and Vickie Winans taking the audience to church with How I Got Over. Derrick Starks handled duties on the organ as part of the Superband and captured vivid memories of each artist performance. “It was just an honor to be a part of such a fabulous tribute”, Starks said. “Ms Franklin is authentically a Detroit treasure and it was wonderful that we could have an opportunity to honor her for contributions to music. Having the opportunity to share the stage and play behind some of the greats is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Additional performances came from Sunday Best Winner Tasha Page Lockhart and Larry Callahan and Selected of God. Doug and Melvin Williams joined Franklin singing Precious Memories.