Michigan governor OKs highway honor for Aretha Franklin

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FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2017 file photo, Aretha Franklin attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala in New York. Franklin is canceling a concert that would have taken place on her 76th birthday due to doctor’s orders. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

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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