Detroit renames street after Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin's home town of Detroit has named a street after her.

A section of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell, was named "Aretha Franklin Way" for The Queen of Soul on Thursday. The area is the heart of a performing arts district that includes the Detroit Opera House.

Franklin told a crowd gathered at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts that she knew she would "get weepy" by the honor. She was also given a Spirit of Detroit pin and a proclamation.

The 75-year-old Franklin, who is atop Rolling Stone's all-time greatest singers list, thanked the Detroit City Council for the honor, which she called magnificent. She went on to recall her youthful days skating at the Arcadia Ballroom and singing at the Flame Show Bar.

"Detroit has been with me ever since then, they were there when no one else knew who I was, and I've been with them every step of the way," she said.

Franklin's voice was first heard as a child at her family's church in Detroit. She later signed her first record deal at 18 that would launch her into an R&B star. But the best was yet to come.

In 1967, Franklin signed with Atlantic Records and released "Respect." It wasn't long after she was dubbed the queen of soul.

The street-naming launched four days of events for the inaugural Detroit Music Weekend, designed to showcase the city's artists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report