Lineup set for Aretha Franklin tribute concert at Chene Park

Thursday's concert will feature dozens of performers across multiple genres

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Thursday night's Aretha Franklin tribute concert at Chene Park will unfold in sections honoring the Queen of Soul's contributions across musical genres, according to venue officials. 

(FILE -2004) Detroit and Motown legend Aretha Franklin performs at the 25th Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan on September 6, 2004.

The show, which ran out of its allotment of tickets in under 10 minutes, will include a jazz and blues portion, an R&B portion and a gospel portion.

Ralphe Armstrong, Franklin's bassist and longtime friend, will oversee the jazz and blues tribute, which will include performances from Joan Belgrave, Doug Carn, Jean Carne, Thornetta Davis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. 

Kern Brantley, who led a tribute to Franklin in 2017 and has also served as musical director for Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, will take the reigns during the evening's R&B portion, which will include performances from Detroit artists including Cherri Black, Steffinie Christian, Angela Davis, Gwen Foxx, Beth Griffith-Manley, Kimmie Horne, KIKO, Alise King and Tasha Page-Lockhart and Ronnie McNeir. Narada Michael Walden will contribute a performance of "Freeway of Love," which he penned for Franklin. 

The concert's gospel portion will be led by Kurt Carr and Derrick Starks, and will include performances by Santita Jackson, Dr. Bobby Jones, Lisa McCaw dancers, Tasha Page-Lockhart, Kierra (KiKi) Sheard and Kathy Taylor. 

Brantley will return to lead an all-star tribute to Franklin, with performances by Regina Belle, Raheem DeVaughn, Johnny Gill, L.J. Reynolds, Angie Stone, Tweet, Keith Washington and The Four Tops.

In addition, George Faison will present a choreographed dance honoring Franklin; Franklin's son and granddaughters will lead a special tribute; remarks will be given by Judge Greg Mathis, actress Erica Peeples and Chene Park's Shahida Mausi; and Tyler Perry will be on hand to introduce actress Jenifer Lewis, who will perform a piece written for Franklin.  

A finale of "Respect," featuring all of the evening's performances, is set to close the event.

The concert will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday.