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Michigan governor OKs highway honor for Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin sings the national anthem before the start of game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers in Auburn Hills, Mich.igan, on June 15, 2004. JMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Monday honoring the late Queen of Soul with a highway designation. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

Aretha Franklin sings the national anthem before the start of game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on June 15, 2004. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Monday honoring the late Queen of Soul with a highway designation. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, 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 a bill designating part 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 said in a statement that Franklin’s “creativity and voice contributed to our musical and cultural history in Michigan.”

Supporters of the designation say dedicating part of the highway is a way to honor the musical star, 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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