RESPECT: An Aretha Franklin Tour Itinerary

March 24, 2021 | Story by Biba Adams | Photos by Hero image: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

A new small-screen biopic, Genius: Aretha is set to debut on National Geographic on March 21. Led by Cynthia Erivo, the film will be a chronological exploration of Aretha Franklin’s life.

Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson will portray Franklin in the theatrical motion picture film, Respect, due out this August.

The two films and the slow reopening of states mean that travel is becoming easier, and tourism and theater-going will once again be at the top of the lists for many families, couples, friends, and even solo travelers.

Detroit is a must-see destination for any true Aretha fan and as some of her biggest fans here at the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, we thought we would compile some of our favorite places to go and cherish the memory of our Queen.

 

The Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre
2600 Atwater St., Downtown

Just days after Franklin’s passing, the 5,000-seat amphitheater that faces the Detroit River and hosts some of the biggest names in pop and jazz was renamed in honor of the Queen of Soul.

This summer will mark the return of music to the theater after the coronavirus pandemic. New social distance protocols will see a reduction in available seats, but there won’t be a reduction in the fun. The theatre was one of Franklin’s favorite places in the city to see a show. She was honored in a three-day event in 2018, and her spirit will always dwell in the jewel on the water.

 

 

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The Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave., Theater District

One of Franklin’s last major concerts in Detroit was in 2012 at The Fox. Franklin performed the show pulling out deep cuts from her extensive catalog. With a nearly 2-hour show which would be one of her last in the landmark venue, Franklin donned a Tigers cap and a bright orange gown. Fans also left acknowledgements at the venue after Franklin passed away in 2018. Detroit’s Fox Theatre, often called Detroit’s Crown Jewel, is one of three remaining five original venues built by film pioneer William Fox in the 1920s, that fact alone makes it worth a visit.

 

 

New Bethel Baptist Church
8430 Linwood St., West Side

Led by Rev. C.L. Franklin from 1946 to 1979, New Bethel Baptist Church was a center for the Civil Rights Movement and was where his daughter, Aretha, honed her voice.

It has been the host of many historic speeches, performances, even weddings and funerals. In 1987, Aretha recorded the gospel album, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism at the church. Just this year, 2021, New Bethel Baptist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

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Greater Grace Temple
23500 W. Seven Mile Rd. West Side

Eight hours and a dozen performances. Aretha Franklin’s funeral service at Greater Grace Temple was an event that wowed a nation, but was no shock to Detroiters. A Queen could only have a royal homegoing.

In 2002, the congregation of Greater Grace Temple moved into its current home on Detroit’s west side, a 6000-seat mega church that it calls the City of David. Greater Grace Temple is known for unique programs and extensive community outreach. The palatial church and its grounds are beautiful to visit especially during Sunday services.

 

 

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Woodlawn Cemetery
19975 Woodward Ave.

One of the most historic cemeteries in Detroit, Woodlawn Cemetery encompasses 140 acres on the near west side of the city. It is the eternal resting place for hundreds of prominent Detroiters including members of the Ford Family, Rosa Parks, and Aretha Franklin and her two sisters.

Founded in 1895, Woodlawn features grand architectural structures modeled in Ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman styles meant to ensure a feeling of timelessness. Just a walk or a drive through the beautiful grounds is like a trip through Detroit’s history.

 

 

 

 

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues





  1. 1
    Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre
    2600 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-393-7128
  2. 2
    Fox Theatre
    2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
    313-471-3211
  3. 3
    Greater Grace Temple
    23500 W. 7 Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48219
    313-543-6000
  4. 4
    New Bethel Baptist Church
    8430 Linwood Street, Detroit, MI, USA
  5. 5
    Woodlawn Cemetery
    19975 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI, USA