Aretha gospel tribute planned on anniversary of her death at namesake venue

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Update: This event has been postponed. Instead, her family will host a free benefit celebration and musical tribute on the grounds of the venue Friday

Gospel stars will sing to the heavens on the one year anniversary of Aretha Franklin's death next month at her namesake venue in Detroit. 

The tribute concert titled "How I Got Over — Classical Goes to Church with Soul" is set for Aug. 16 at the outdoor Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, formerly Chene Park in Detroit. 

The show is headlined by Grammy Award-winning gospel stars Richard Smallwood, Karen Clark-Sheard and the Queen of Soul's granddaughter Grace Franklin.

The lineup also features the Detroit Youth Choir, currently competing on "America's Got Talent." The ensemble impressed the judges with its electric performance during the audition round and earned the "golden buzzer," which accelerated it straight to the live show.  

More:'America's Got Talent' host Terry Crews awards Detroit Youth Choir the golden buzzer

The Aretha Tribute Choir, an orchestra from the Detroit Public Schools Community District and member of Franklin's touring band and back-up singers are also expected on stage. 

Aretha Franklin

The tribute is organized by family friend Deontaye Clay, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Aretha Franklin Endowed Scholarship. 

“This year’s concert will pay tribute to Aretha’s incredible talent by showcasing some of her most memorable songs,” said Clay in a press release, adding that "it's very important to me for the city of Detroit to keep Aretha's legacy alive." 

Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert start at $40 and are on sale now via or by calling (800) 745-3000. Visit or call (313) 393-0292 for more ticketing options and details on a VIP pre-concert reception. 

The Aretha is at 2600 Atwater in Detroit. 

Franklin died in Detroit in Aug. 16, 2018 at age 76. 

More:Chene Park becomes the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre

More:Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul Remembered

Twitter: @melodybaetens