Michael Jackson street naming scrapped
CHICAGO -An honorary street naming in Detroit for the King of Pop was canceled Wednesday.
Michael Jackson Avenue was supposed to be officially unveiled Friday in Motor City, just as the late artist’s surviving brothers prepared to perform at a weekend concert. But the ceremony was called off, as members of the Jackson 5 — the family act where Michael Jackson got his start — wondered why the entire group wasn’t being honored.
Under city rules, honorary street names cannot be granted to groups or organizations, only persons, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported. A city official told the newspaper that the naming ceremony was called off while a solution is sought.
“We’re still working through the process,” Stephen Grady told the Free Press. The street naming was announced in mid-May with much fanfare and two of the Jackson 5 present at a news conference.
The tribute was to come 50 years after the family group birthed their career with a successful recording contract audition in Detroit, which has a rich history of nurturing American artists. But Marlon and Jackie Jackson told reporters at the May event that they wanted the entire group to be honored.
Michael Jackson, who started with the group, went on to become one of the most famous performers in pop music history. He died in 2009 at the age of 50 from a fatal dose of drugs, including the powerful anesthetic propofol.
Had the street naming gone ahead, the King of Pop’s honorary stretch of road would have been near the one named after the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Her street naming was last year.