Aretha Franklin got a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T from her hometown of Detroit during the past few days -- even if she didn't sing the song.
The Queen of Soul was feted over a three-day period as part of the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend festival with a street naming and a tribute concert, as well as her own free headline show in downtown Detroit that Franklin has said may be the last in her hometown. "I hope not, but it's possible," the 75-year-old Franklin told Billboard recently. "It's still moving in that direction. It's winding down. There's a warranty on everything. Fifty-four years of traveling and flying... can be very tiring. I'm not happy, exactly, about doing something that you've been doing for 54 years that you really, really love. But nothing lasts forever."
If that proves to be the case, Franklin left her Detroit fans -- estimated by festival organizers at 14,000 -- with a gracious finale. The hour-and-50-minute show brought out a batch of famous friends -- including civil rights activist Jessie Jackson, Michigan U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, boxing champion Thomas Hearns, Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson and fellow musicians Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Freda Payne, Vickie Winans and Ivan Kral -- in 90-degree heat, with the sun beating down on Franklin's back, and in the crowd's faces, for much of the show. During a mid-show break Franklin also received a key to the city from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a Metropolitan Detroit Virtuoso Award from Franklin's opera coach Mary Lynch.