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Detroit's Chene Park holds Aretha Franklin tribute concert

More than 30 performers took to the Chene Park stage to honor Franklin

DETROIT – The stars came out Friday night and so did the fans -- not mutually exclusive, as the performers are just as big of fans of Aretha Franklin as the audience.

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From the moment the performers hit the stage, the energy and gratitude from both fans and artists was apparent.

The concert started by highlighting the Queen of Soul's gospel roots, which provided Detroiters like Linda Johnson a chance to stand on an international platform.

"It's such a privilege and honor to be able to sing for Aretha Franklin," Johnson said.

As the evening continued, more tributes to Franklin took the stage. Even Grammy Award-winning artists acknowledged they were humbled to be on the stage.

"Coming together like this is hard, but that's the magic of who the queen still is," said Regina Bell.

"I love her," Johnson said. "She'll be missed, but not really because we will always grab a record."

Rhythm and blues artist Keith Washington said he's never attended a visitation before, not even when his mother died, but something moved him to stop by New Bethel Baptist Church.

"Of course, I had the chance to see her for the last time and say, 'I love you,'" Washington said. "I don't (say) that often, but I had to give my sole respect to the Queen of Soul."

Washington wasn't the only one showing respect. Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Franklin silently fought for ongoing civil rights.

"She was always there when you needed her because she understood the struggle had to go on for us to be free," Jackson Lee said. "Thank you, Aretha."

Franklin's grandchildren appeared on stage, offering a thank you to the crowd.

Full coverage: Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul