aretha sign

(Photo: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Detroit Honors the Queen Of Soul By Renaming Amphitheatre

No more Chene Park, it’s Aretha’s now

May 17, 2019 - 2:04 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - A dedication ceremony was held in Detroit on Friday to honor of The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. What was once Chene Park, which is located on Detroit’s waterfront, will now be known as Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre.

Family, friends and fans joined in celebration as the new sign was unveiled and to listen to the many live performances that went on. Bill Moss Jr., the director of music and arts at Third New Hope Church, was one of those performers.

“You know from the bonecore, she was church,” said Moss Jr. of Franklin, “I mean and it came out, even though she made a huge, huge impact on the R&B industry.”

Renaming the theater was a promise that Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan, who attended ceremony on Friday, made at the gospel singers funeral last fall.

“It was something that the council and I thought was important,” said Duggan, “I’m glad that we announced it when the world was watching during the funeral last August.”

Duggan’s very happy with how everything played out.

“I think it just came out beautifully. So all summer long Detroiters are going to be talking are going to the Aretha to see the shows on the riverfront. It’s going to be great.”

While Franklin is going to be remembered most for her music, Cal Franklin, on Aretha’s four sons, thinks she did much more than that.

“As a woman, she was very much into women’s rights. She wanted women to be empowered and to be able to express themselves to the fullest and to be heard and known and not just in the background and that’s something to be proud of.”

The 18-time grammy award winner wasn’t just an outstanding women’s rights activist, but Franklin said she was also a great mother.

“She was an awesome mother. Treated us all equally and made sure we took out the trash.”