A highway in Aretha Franklin’s hometown may be renamed in her honor, thanks to a 101-6 decision by the Michigan House of Representatives. But now, the bill is heading to the state Senate for the final decision.
The legendary songstress kicked off her career in the Motor City, singing as a child at New Bethel Baptist Church. After decades in the business, Franklin returned to the city and even later retired in Detroit before she lost her battle to pancreatic cancer in August 2018.
In an effort to honor Franklin’s longstanding career and impact on the Motown capital, Democratic Rep. Leslie Love introduced the bill to rename a road near Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church, which will “symbolize her broad reach,” according to the Associated Press.
Though majority of the House approved to rename Michigan’s M-10 as “Aretha L Franklin’s Memorial Highway,” six GOP lawmakers voted against it, as one claimed only first responders should be honored with a highway.
“People who did a service to our state or nation, we can give them that honor and recognition, and we should keep it reserved for them,” Shane Hernandez said. “I don’t deny the great things she accomplished and wonderful things she did. It’s just my personal opinion to keep it to first responders and military veterans.”
However, according to Love, Franklin’s legacy, fight for civil rights and discography, which “gave us all the soundtrack to our lives,” makes her the perfect candidate for the recognition.