Friday, May 27, 2022

Detroit Cancels Ceremony to Rename Street after Michael Jackson Due to Misunderstanding

michael jackson

*An honorary street designation for Michael Jackson in Detroit was supposed to take place on Friday, but has been cancelled by the city due to a misunderstanding with the King of Pop’s brothers.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Michael Jackson Avenue was all set to be unveiled tomorrow along a stretch of Randolph Street in the city’s theater district. The naming ceremony was announced last month during a media event for the Detroit Music Weekend festival, which will feature the surviving Jacksons as headliner on Saturday night.

The siblings assumed that their performance in the festival meant that the street would be renamed after the entire Jackson 5, not just Michael Jackson.

However, Detroit was legally restricted from naming the street after the Jackson 5 due to an amendment passed last year by Detroit City Council that prohibits ceremonial street designations for organizations or groups. The decision to go with Michael Jackson Avenue was “a compromise,” Stephen Grady, chief of staff for council president Brenda Jones, said at the time.

While honorary street designations are overseen by Detroit City Council, the Jacksons are guests of Music Hall, which produces Detroit Music Weekend.

Marlon and Jackie Jackson, on hand for the May press event, told reporters that day they hoped the entire group would be recognized when all was said and done.

Now the street naming has been cancelled altogether, as the city council seeks a solution. The unveiling ceremony, scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, has been deleted from the Detroit Music Weekend itinerary.

“We’re still working through the process,” Grady said Wednesday. “The amendment to the ordinance is fairly new, and we’re trying to understand what we can do. We still plan to do something for the Jackson 5.”

Michael Jackson Avenue would have been around the corner from Aretha Franklin Way, a stretch of Madison Street designated for the Queen of Soul at last summer’s inaugural Detroit Music Weekend.

The festival will run Thursday-Sunday, with a slate of free music on Saturday that will include Mark Farner, Jeff Daniels and the Jacksons. The festival’s main stage will be situated alongside Madison Street, between Music Hall and the Detroit Opera House.

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