Detroit graffiti artist Sintex pays tribute to Aretha Franklin with new mural


  • Facebook, Andrea Benay SalaDayo Wade
Detroit graffiti artist Sintex has paid tribute to Aretha Franklin with a larger-than-life mural of the Queen of Soul in her younger years. Beside the image of a dazzling Franklin are the words "Rest in Respect, Queen."

Social media users spotted Sintex putting up the piece on Sunday. It's located at the corner of Linwood and Euclid near Detroit's LaSalle Gardens neighborhood, just a couple of blocks from New Bethel Baptist Church, where Franklin will lie in state for a viewing on Aug. 30. Franklin's father was pastor at the church.

The piece is reminiscent of a famous black-and-white photograph of Franklin at Columbia Records. Sintex, 36, tells the Detroit News it took about 8 hours to complete.

The building where he spray-painted the image appears to be for sale and it's unclear whether a new owner would keep the art work. Also unclear is whether the city will allow the piece to stay up. As part of Detroit's aggressive crackdown on unsanctioned street art, building owners must register murals with the city, otherwise the work is at risk of getting buffed. Here's hoping Detroit's city services department missed this story amid the deluge of Aretha content since her Thursday passing.

Get our top picks for the best events in Detroit every Thursday morning. Sign up for our events newsletter.

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

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.