WATCH LIVE: Aretha Franklin tribute concert at Chene Park

Posted at 6:50 AM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 23:00:42-04

Thousands of people will celebrate the life of Aretha Franklin at a tribute concert in Chene Park Thursday night.


Tickets for the concert sold out in less than 15 minutes. 

More than 40 performers will celebrate Aretha's life and legacy at the Chene Park Amphitheatre from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

Suggested attire for attendees is white, in celebration of the Queen of Soul, according to a release from Chene Park.


The program for the tribute concert includes:

  • A jazz and blues tribute with Ralphe Armstrong, Aretha's bassist and longtime friend, as musical director. Performances from: Joan Belgrave, Doug Carn, Detroit's Thornetta Davis and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
  • Visual montages will be presented throughout the event, including a signature portrait by artist Demont Pinder.
  • A dance choreographed by George Faison.
  • An R&B tribute with Kern Brantley as musical director. Narada Michael Walden will perform "Freeway of Love," a song he wrote for Aretha. 
    • Performances from: Cherri Black, Steffinie Christian, Angela Davis, Gwen Foxx, Beth Griffith-Manley, Kimmie Horne, KIKO, Alise King and Tasha Page-Lockhart and Ronnie McNeir, who will perform the song he wrote for the upcoming Aretha biopic.
  • Aretha's son, Eddie, and her granddaughters Gracie and Victorie Franklin will give a special tribute.
  • A gospel tribute with Kurt Carr and Derrick Starks as musical directors. Performances from: Santita Jackson, Dr. Bobby Jones, Lisa McCaw dancers, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Kierra Sheard and Kathy Taylor.
  • Filmmaker Tyler Perry will introduce actress Jenifer Lewis, who will perform a piece written for her. Remarks will be delivered by Judge Greg Mathis and actress Erica Peeples.
  • An all-star tribute with Kern Brantley as musical director, featuring performances from: Regina Belle, Raheem DeVaughn, Johnny Gill, Dave Hollister, L.J. Reynolds, Angie Stone, Tweet, Keith Washington and the Four Tops.
  • A "Respect" finale featuring all participants will close the event.


In addition to the concert, two other major events are taking place in the city – the Detroit Lions home game at Ford Field and preparations for the Detroit Jazz Festival.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is asking event-goers to plan ahead to better navigate traffic and parking.

Here's what to look out for:

  • The City of Detroit will relax parking enforcement on streets around Chene Park for the concert. People can park at meters or use area parking lots.
  • Visitors traveling to Chene Park should use I-375 and exit at Jefferson.
  • Chene will be two lanes southbound to allow access to parking lots.
  • Chene will be closed at Jefferson once parking lots are full.
  • There will be restricted traffic on Atwater between St. Aubin and Dubois.
  • No traffic on Atwater from Dubois to Chene.
  • The Chene Park box office will open with access off of Jos. Campau at Atwater.

For any event updates or streaming information, visit the Chene Park website.