Aretha Franklin maintains unbreakable bond with city of Detroit

Detroit residents remember Queen of Soul's impact on city

DETROIT - People all over the world loved Aretha Franklin, but she had a special, unbreakable bond with the city of Detroit.

Franklin passed away Thursday at age 76 at her home in Downtown Detroit, but evidence of her impact can be found around the city, including Aretha Franklin Way.

"She is Detroit, and it's respect all the way," a resident said.

During her last concert on June 10, 2017, Franklin's only real strength seemed to come from her voice. At the end of the concert, she delivered a cryptic message that struck many fans in the plaza.

"Keep me in your prayers," Franklin said.

The Music Hall's Jazz Cafe in Detroit is currently being turned into Aretha's Jazz Cafe.

"She wanted to have a jazz cafe, but circumstances being as they were, she never was really able to follow up and get into those details," said Vince Paul, of the Music Hall. "We will preserve her legacy."

Her trials and tribulations, lawsuits and family matters made headlines, but it didn't change how people felt about Franklin and her music.

"She's a legend," a resident said. "It's very sad. I'm going to get choked up."

"She started singing that song, 'We're going riding on the freeway, making love in a pink Cadillac,'" a resident said.

Franklin lived her life out loud for all to see.

"Detroit was her home by design because here was where she felt the most comfortable," Paul said. "When I say comfortable, it means living a life that isn't always happy or always sad or always anything. It's just like being a person, and Michigan allows you to be that."

The Music Hall marquee paid homage Thursday to Franklin.

The Aretha Franklin Jazz Cafe is expected to open in the fall.

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