Aretha Franklin surprises Smokey Robinson with City of Detroit award before Chene Park show

click to enlarge Aretha Franklin presents a City of Detroit Award of Recognition to Smokey Robinson before his performance at Chene Park Amphitheater. - David E. Rudolph
David E. Rudolph
Aretha Franklin presents a City of Detroit Award of Recognition to Smokey Robinson before his performance at Chene Park Amphitheater.

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin took time out of her recently announced retirement to honor Smokey Robinson with a special award on behalf of Detroit City Council.

Before Robinson's Saturday show at Detroit's Chene Park Ampitheater, Franklin met with her "oldest and dearest friend" to deliver an award of "appreciation and recognition" from the Detroit city council and council president Brenda Jones.

Reading from the autographed certificate, Franklin said:

'We honor you as a native Detroiter, Motown legend, and America's greatest living poet. Your lifetime work has served as a vehicle of musical expression, and stands among the greatest of our time. You founded the R&B group the Miracles right here in Detroit, wrote and produced numerous hits for other Motown greats, made major contributions to the success of Motown Records along with Berry Gordy, and have achieved international and national acclaim as a solo artist. Your rich melodies are works of art, and your significant contributions to music as a singer, songwriter, producer, and record executive have made you a musical legend.'

Franklin performed what was billed as her last Detroit show last month.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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