ENTERTAINMENT

Detroit Mayor Plans To Rename Waterfront Park For Aretha Franklin

The iconic singer called the city home for decades.
Aretha Franklin's grandchildren Jordan, Gracie and Victorie speak onstage at an Aug. 30 tribute concert at Chene Park —
Aretha Franklin's grandchildren Jordan, Gracie and Victorie speak onstage at an Aug. 30 tribute concert at Chene Park — which is soon to take their grandmother's name.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan used his remarks at Aretha Franklin’s funeral Friday afternoon to make an announcement: The Michigan city’s celebrated Chene Park will soon take the singer’s name.

The motion has not yet been approved by the Detroit City Council, but Duggan expects “strong and enthusiastic” support for it. 

“Our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park, and when performers from generations to come from around the world come here, they will be reminded they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul,” the mayor said.

Chene Park is a waterfront amphitheater with scenic views of the Detroit River and the skyline of Windsor, Canada. Just one day before, fans and family members held a tribute concert to Franklin there. 

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones said the resolution would be passed Saturday and an accompanying law would prohibit any future renaming.

According to Duggan, it was one of the singer’s favorite places in the city she called home for decades.

Franklin, who had pancreatic cancer, died at her Detroit home on Aug. 16.

Her funeral, held Friday, included speakers and performers scheduled over five hours at Greater Grace Temple. Stars and public figures including Ariana Grande, Smokey Robinson, former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton turned out to recall their favorite memories of the iconic singer.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated which church Aretha Franklin’s father pastored.

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