Aretha Franklin takes part in a tribute to her late civil rights father in Detroit


Aretha Franklin has participated in a street-renaming ceremony in Detroit in tribute to her late father, at the Detroit church where he was a longtime pastor.

The soul legend's father, CL Franklin, was a good friend of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.

CL Franklin, who died in 1984, helped organise Dr King's June 1963 Detroit Walk To Freedom march, which came before the famous March on Washington in August.

Aretha Franklin performs on stage (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Aretha Franklin performs on stage (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Aretha played piano and sang at New Bethel Baptist Church for hundreds gathered on Friday to celebrate the renaming of part of Linwood Avenue to Rev CL Franklin Boulevard.

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported that attendees included gospel singer Yolanda Adams, TV judge Greg Mathis and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Aretha told the Free Press that the street renaming is "an acknowledgement of his contributions to the city and country".

Aretha Franklin on stage (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Aretha Franklin on stage (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The singer's father guided her early years through her first gospel recording, which was made when she was 14, and into her transition as a soul singer.

Best known for hits such as Respect, I Say A Little Prayer and I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) with George Michael, Aretha has been an international star since the 1960s.