Music Hall to rename Jazz Cafe to honor Aretha Franklin

Music Hall to rename Jazz Cafe to honor Aretha Franklin

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Detroit's Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts will honor Aretha Franklin by renaming its Jazz Café as Aretha's Jazz Café. 

Singer Aretha Franklin and her son, Kecalf Cunningham, stand under Aretha Franklin Way, a street renamed in her honor, in Detroit, June 8, 2017. A portion of Madison Street near Comerica Park will have both names.

Music Hall's Vince Paul says he had many conversations with Aretha about the name change and that the Queen of Soul was supportive of the move. Discussions stalled as Franklin grew ill. 

Paul announced the change on Thursday, after Franklin's death at the age of 76.

"We want to continue honoring her," says Paul, who spearheaded efforts to name a stretch of Madison St. in front of Music Hall as Aretha Franklin Way in 2017. "It's a continuation of Aretha Franklin Way." 

The Jazz Cafe is currently undergoing renovation, and is set to reopen under its new name in November. 

Paul says the intimate performance space, which has seating for 86, will include photographs of Franklin, and he's toying with installing screens with video footage of her performing. More details are to come.

Aretha Franklin has a history with Music Hall that dates back decades. She headlined Music Hall's inaugural Detroit Music Weekend in June 2017, and her performance at the event marked her final Detroit concert.