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Freeway of Soul: Plan to rename section of Detroit highway after Aretha Franklin now one step closer to reality


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesA proposed plan to rename a section of highway in Detroit after Aretha Franklin was passed Tuesday by the Michigan House of Representatives, moving it a step closer to approval, The Detroit News reports.

According to the paper, the Michigan House voted 101-6 to rename a stretch of the M-10 highway between Livernois Avenue and Interstate 94 the “Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway.”

Detroit Rep. Leslie Love introduced the bill after the Queen of Soul’s 2018 death at age 76 from complications of pancreatic cancer this past August.

“She gave us all a soundtrack to our life, whether you were falling in love or falling out love,” Love said in remarks promoting the legislation.

Part of the bill maintains that renaming the highway section after Aretha “would be an appropriate way to honor a music and cultural icon who selflessly gave of her time, her vocal and pianistic [sic] talents, and her energy and resources to the citizens of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the United States of America.”

Among the six reps voting against the proposal was Shane Hernandez, a Republican politician from Port Huron, who argued that the renaming honor should be reserved for first responders and military veterans.

Representatives of the Franklin family have expressed support for the bill, which now will go to the Michigan State Senate for consideration.

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