Here's what you missed from Thursday's Aretha Franklin tribute at Chene Park


Longtime Aretha Franklin choreographer Lisa McCall (back) created a routine in honor of the legendary songstress. - VIOLET IKONOMOVA
  • Violet Ikonomova
  • Longtime Aretha Franklin choreographer Lisa McCall (back) created a routine in honor of the legendary songstress.

Dozens of artists honored the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin Thursday night with a genre-spanning "People's Tribute" concert at Chene Park.

It was the hottest ticket in town during a week marked by viewings and events for the late songstress. Seats at the free show were all spoken for within 10 minutes of becoming available Monday.

For almost five hours, the exuberant crowd danced and sang along to gospel, jazz and blues, R&B, and a medley of Aretha hits perormed by Detroit artists. Celebrities including Tyler Perry and gospel singer Kurt Carr headlined the event. Patti LaBelle joined via a pre-recorded video in which she sang "You Are My Friend" beside a screen featuring a photo montage of Franklin.

Franklin's former collaborators also performed. Choreographer Lisa McCall created a dance specifically for the event and Franklin's longtime bassist, Ralphe Armstrong, joined in a jazz and blues tribute.

Franklin's star-studded funeral will be held today at Greater Grace Temple — a more six hour affair that will be attended by a former president and A-listers including Stevie Wonder and LeBron James.

Check out some of the speeches and performances from last night:

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.