Between Detroit and Chicago, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has seen it all. Since growing up in her Detroit home as a child during the first half of the 20th century, Franklin has often made many trips to and from Chicago in her lifetime. But recently, one of those Detroit-to-Chicago trips was made all the more special and memorable due in large part to the hospitality and kind nature of the state of Illinois.
Recently, the songstress was on her way from the Motor City to the Windy City as part of her current concert tour promoting her most recent work, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics—a routine trip that the artist has likely made hundreds of times in her long and storied life and career. On Monday morning, though, at about 1:30 a.m., the singer's tour bus suffered transmission problems and a major breakdown on Interstate 290, stranding Franklin and her touring crew and backup singers. Though they had nearly made it, they were still a few miles outside of downtown Chicago.
Stranded on the outskirts of Chicago isn't always a great place to be, especially when you're stuck along the side of a very busy expressway with tons of cars zipping by—tour bus or not. The diva's assistants and helpers called a slew of car services and shuttles, but not one was available to come save the legendary singer. Enter the Illinois State Police.
There were six total vehicles in all—three from the Illinois State Police and three from the Illinois Department of Transportation—that came to assist the world famous performer. The singer's large entourage was taken to their hotel in downtown Chicago, safe from the dangers of being stranded on the busy roadway. When asked about Franklin's reaction, one of her crew mates said she yelled out a “Hallelujah!” and added that, “God was right on time.”
The Queen of Soul is in the Windy City to prepare for this weekend's show that she is putting on in Highland Park at the Ravinia Pavillion. Franklin will be performing a number of her recent hits, many of which were recorded and re-recorded recently for her Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics album. She will also be performing in Detroit later this fall on Saturday, Aug. 22 with show opener Ron Isley at the Chene Park Amphitheater.
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