As news swirls that soul icon Aretha Franklin is “gravely ill,” many supporters have offered prayers and words of encouragement to the singer.
On Monday night at their Detroit show, Beyoncé and Jay Z descended from the top of their set in their dynamic opening and announced they would dedicate the show to Franklin’s honor.
“This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin. We love you,” Beyoncé said, adding a thank-you for “the beautiful music.”
Franklin, 76, has battled an unknown condition and is currently surrounded by her family at her beside in the city’s Riverfront Towers, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Carters performed at Ford Field, just blocks away from Aretha Franklin Way, a street named for the singer last summer.
As the show began, opener DJ Khaled spun “Respect” as 40,000 people sang along to the lyrics. “Make some noise for one of the greats!” Khaled said.
Franklin’s name alone has helped the city solidify itself as one of the most important music cities in America, along with the Motown dynasty. The Carters’ acknowledgment in Franklin’s hometown shed light on the importance of paying respect to artists who came before–without Franklin’s monumental significance in music, where would artists like the Carters be?
Hopefully Franklin felt the energy from the crowd as she continues to fight.