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Aretha Franklin’s handprints find new, permanent home at Detroit Historical Museum

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Just prior to her death, Aretha Franklin cast her handprints in concrete in 2017. Three years later, they’ve finally found a permanent home.

The Detroit native’s hand prints were unveiled Sunday, according to the Detroit Free Press, to celebrate a new exhibit from the Detroit Historical Museum honoring the late legend.  Originally, the castings were meant to be installed in the city’s then-newly announced Aretha Franklin Way. Plans for the installation were changed when Franklin passed away in 2018.

The temporary exhibit, titled “Respect,” showcases several artifacts belonging to the Queen of Soul, as well as props and costumes from her new biopic of the same name that opens in theaters later this month. The display will be available for viewing until the end of August at the museum’s Motor City Music Exhibition space.

In addition to the new exhibit, a private screening of Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as Franklin, was also held Sunday for the singer’s inner circle.  

Hudson, who was Aretha’s hand-picked selection to play her in the film, was also in the city for the festivities.  She was joined by the movie’s director, Liesl Tommy, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for a Q&A session regarding the biopic.  The event was invitation only.

Respect, which follows Aretha’s life story from being a singer in her father’s choir in church to becoming a worldwide music legend, debuts in theaters August 13.

Aretha died August 16, 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.  She was 76.

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