Stretch of Lodge freeway named 'Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway'

click to enlarge STEVE NEAVLING
Steve Neavling

A stretch of the Lodge freeway in Detroit is being designated as the “Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway.”

The announcement came Monday after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a House bill introduced by Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit.

“I’m honored to be able to dedicate a portion of the M-10 freeway to remember Aretha and all she did for our state,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Aretha Franklin was an American icon. She began her career here in the heart of Detroit. Her creativity and voice contributed to our musical and cultural history in Michigan.”

The portion of the Lodge (M-10) between Livernois Avenue and I-94 will be renamed after the late Queen of Soul, who passed away in Detroit last year at the age of 76.

That same stretch of freeway is where a viral video showed cars blocking traffic and blowing donuts. The video spawned memes, T-shirts and a rap song.

Franklin was raised in Detroit and first learned how to sing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was a minister.

During her six-decade career, Franklin won 18 Grammy awards, became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and used her voice and fame to help further the civil rights movement.

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