*Detroit, MI — On June 11, 2017, The Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame had the 5th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Detroit, and the number of inductees has risen to (151). Now it is more imperative than ever, for the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame to find a home for its inductees.
This past Tuesday (06-27-17), many music supporters and Detroit music icons gathered at the Coleman A. Young Municipal building to show the Detroit City Council their support to have the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in Detroit.
Founder LaMont Robinson and his board members have discovered a site that could potentially be the new home for the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame Museum, which will house memorabilia of inductees such as Michael Jackson, James Brown, BB King, Jackie Wilson, Prince, Whitney Houston and Detroit’s own, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.
Robinson and a contingent of past hall of fame inductees, visited the Detroit City Council to express their interest and support in having the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame build a permanent museum in Detroit. The City Council directed Robinson and his supporters to find a location and bring the information back to them for their review.
The board did announce to the council that they’ve have found a city-owned building on West Grand Blvd., which was the site of a former nursing home which is less then a half mile away from the Motown Hitsvile USA Museum.
From the information the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame board has culled, regarding the new plans for West Grand Blvd, and the $50,000,000.00 (million dollar) development for the Motown Hitsville USA Museum, they could could easily see an influx of 500,000 (thousand) to 1,000,000 (million) tourists visiting the new Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum on West Grand Blvd. The traffic would be akin to Beal Street in Memphis or to the multiple museums in Nashville. Both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland) and the Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville) have an annual attendance of over 500,000 (thousand) visitors, but neither has the musical legacy of Detroit.
Robinson asked the city council to approve the plan to use the vacant property for the museum. Since the building hasn’t been purchased by Robinson or any representatives of the Hall of Fame yet, the council can’t officially approve the plan yet.
“We’re not looking to use any city money or money from the taxpayers for the museum,” Robinson told the council. We’re looking at anywhere from $3-$5 million [in costs,] so we’ve already started fundraising,” he said. “So we just need the blessings of the city.”
Cheryl Ruffin, the daughter of David Ruffin, of The Temptations is the Vice President for the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. She says it only makes sense to put the museum in Detroit.
The board of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, has started its fundraising events and has plans to announce a media partnership deal within the next few months, to televise its 2018 induction ceremony nationally. Robinson said after the meeting that he felt good that the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame has gained the full support of the City Council and its President Brenda Jones, who was honored by the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2015, to discuss how we can partner to make this global project a reality