Detroit honors the Queen of Soul: Chene Park to be renamed Aretha Franklin Park
DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan proposed a plan Friday to rename Chene Park after Aretha Franklin, cementing the Queen of Soul's legacy in Detroit.
The star-studded tribute to Franklin at Chene Park on Thursday was fitting send-off, but less than 24-hours-later, word came of an even bigger honor -- a name change.
"I met with (Detroit City Council) President Brenda Jones, and talked to my partners on Detroit City Council, and today it is with their strong and enthusiastic report that I can tell you that on Tuesday I will be sending City Council a proposal to rename Chene Park," Duggan said. "Our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park."
Duggan made the announcement as world watched Franklin's homecoming services and his remarks brought people to their feet in a standing ovation.
"She deserves it. We didn't realize how much she was putting in to our community until today," said resident Lorraine Havard. "How she helped families just by helping them on the news. She got involved with a lot of things we didn't even know about."
The Queen of Soul last performed at Chene Park in 2015 when the amphitheater celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Franklin didn't leave Detroit and her city continues to pay homage, and now Detroit looks forward to what else will come with the riverfront venue named in her honor.
"I think it's perfect way to give a tribute," Mark Williams said. "Maybe they'll put some type of statue out here for her too."
"Everyone called her the Queen of Soul, but she's our queen," said Larry Mayhand. "She's Detroit's queen -- you see what type of send off they gave her."
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