Aretha Franklin pledges help, hotel rooms to Flint

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Aretha Franklin has pledged to help victims of Flint’s water crisis by donating hotel rooms and money to Flint residents.

The Queen of Soul appeared on “MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall” on Thursday and spoke about the situation in Flint, comparing it to Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s just horrible,” Franklin said. “The water being green and brown and, ‘my god,’ I said, it just reminds you of Katrina, for one, all over again.”

Franklin said she’s doing her part by donating 50 rooms nightly at nearby Holiday Inn Express or Comfort Inn locations, along with a per diem good for food and beverage at an area Coney Island. “They really have good food, because I go in there a lot,” she said.

Thursday evening, reps at Holiday Inn Express locations in Flint and Grand Blanc had no knowledge of Franklin’s plans, and operators at the Grand Blanc Comfort Inn could not be reached.

Franklin also said she was making calls to Berry Gordy, Jr., Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, “to see what they will do.”

Franklin is the latest in a long line of celebrities to pledge their help to victims in Flint. Pearl Jam, Big Sean, Jack White’s Third Man Records, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon and Eminem are among those who have lent an assist, either through the donation of water bottles or money.