Michigan governor OKs highway honor for Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin performs onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemoration. ((Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images))

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s governor has signed legislation honoring the late Queen of Soul with a highway designation.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday approved the bill to designate a portion of M-10 in Detroit as the “Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway.” Franklin died in Detroit last year after battling pancreatic cancer.

The Democratic governor notes in a statement that Franklin’s “creativity and voice contributed to our musical and cultural history in Michigan.”

Supporters of the designation say dedicating a portion of the highway is a way to honor the musical and cultural icon, who grew up in Detroit and learned the gospel fundamentals at New Bethel Baptist Church.

Some Republicans who opposed the bill, however, have said such designations should only go to fallen first responders and military veterans.

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