The statute of limitations on Aretha Franklin tributes has not run out — at least not in her home town. One week after the Queen of Soul’s epic funeral in Detroit, Darius Rucker paid homage on Friday night (Sept. 7) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in suburban Detroit.
Just before performing Franklin’s bluesy 1967 hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” Rucker told the crowd, “When I was a kid, only two people ruled my world — Al Green and Aretha Franklin. I’ve been watching everybody do their tributes to (Franklin), but I said, ‘I’m gonna wait ’til I get to Detroit to do mine.’ I want to send my tribute to the Queen. This is my tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.”
Franklin passed away Aug. 16 in Detroit at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Her Aug. 31 funeral was a star-studded, eight-hour and 15-minute marathon at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple that featured more than 20 musical performances and speeches from dignitaries including former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The funeral also generated some controversy, from Ariana Grande’s short dress to the appropriateness of some of Greater Grace Bishop Charles H. Ellis III’s remarks, and conduct and Atlanta Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.’s wide-ranging, politically provocative eulogy.
Rucker, meanwhile, is in the midst of his Summer Plays on Tour with Lady Antebellum, which wraps up during early October.