Aretha Franklin’s annual free gospel concert will happen as planned even though doctors have ordered the Queen of Soul to take it easy until May.
Franklin was released Saturday from Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit after treatment for an undisclosed illness.
“She is up and about and doing real good but not well enough to perform right now,” said her longtime friend, Fannie Tyler of Detroit. Franklin is expected to be present at the event later this month.
Franklin began offering a free gospel concert and feast to Detroiters seven years ago — kind of a pre-holiday gift to the city.
Sometimes she performs or joins others performing, but usually other artists are the focus of the gathering.
This year, “Aretha’s Thanksgiving Gospel Fest” will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 at the church she grew up in, New Bethel Baptist Church at 8430 C.L. Franklin Blvd. in Detroit. A portion of Linwood Boulevard was renamed in honor of her late father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who was pastor at New Bethel for many years.
Among those scheduled to perform are Dorinda Clark-Cole of the Grammy Award-winning Clark Sisters, Esther Smith, Paul Porter of the Christianaires, Spencer Taylor and the Highway QCs, Slim and the Morning Echoes and the Mighty Voices of Wonder.
The program will be emceed by Norman Jean Pender, best known as Reverend Mother of Reverend Mother’s Gospel Connection radio program on WEXL-AM (1340).
After the concert, a free and complete Thanksgiving dinner will be offered, including turkey, dressing, fried chicken, pinto beans and Aretha’s Mighty Baked Hams. Franklin, who enjoys cooking, might prepare the hams herself, Tyler said.
Read more: Aretha Franklin’s gospel concert to go on | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101106/FEATURES01/11060313/1320/Arethas-gospel-concert-to-go-on#ixzz14tKJz3OH