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Aretha Franklin's hometown paid her the utmost R-E-S-P-E-C-T by naming a post office after her.

The name change was made possible by a bill signed into law by former President Donald Trump before he left office in January, NBC NY reports.

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Members of Franklin's family joined postal and elected officials to celebrate the name change honoring the Queen of Soul, who is best known for her hits "Think," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Respect."

The post office is located not far from a concert amphitheater on the Detroit River which is also named for Franklin. The former Fox Creek post office will forever be known as "Aretha Franklin Post Office Building."

"Her legacy lives on in her music, in her family. But we have added to that list of her legacy: A post office with her name on it," said U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a longtime postal service worker.

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Lawrence, who was also a friend of Franklin's, introduced the bill in Congress that was signed by President Trump.

The longtime Democrat said on Monday:

"Sometimes people wonder if Congress can come together. Congress can come together when it comes to standing up and recognizing this amazing person."

Franklin died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2018 at age 76 in her Detroit home.
 

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Aretha Franklin's family has made it clear they did not want a new biopic about the beloved Queen of Soul to see the light of day.

The family did not support the much-hyped Genius: Aretha series, which debuted on National Geographic on Sunday evening, March 21.

Cynthia Erivo, pictured with Aretha in 2015, earned critical praise for her role as the Queen of Soul in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' new eight-part project, but Aretha's granddaughter said it's full of fiction.

"This movie has to go," she said in a new TikTok video. "As the immediate family, we feel that it's important to be involved with any biopic of my grandma's life, as it's hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone's life without speaking to the ones closest to them."

She said the family has "been disrespected and told we will not be worked with. As the immediate family - emphasis on immediate - we do not support this film and we ask that you also do not support this film, as we feel extremely disrespected, and we feel there will be many inaccuracies about my grandmother's life."

Her father and Aretha's son, Kecalf Franklin, supported his daughter, telling Rolling Stone, "What we've found out in the past is that usually when people don't want to work with you, that is a prelude to some type of unprofessional behavior or a prelude to some type of untruth or slander... That's usually the case when people say that they don't want to work with you."

Genius: Aretha chronicles the soul legend's rise to the top from her roots as a teenage single teenage mom in Alabama.

National Geographic bosses acknowledged they made no contact with Franklin's family while making the series, but they still insist the biopic was thoroughly researched.

The Franklin family is working with the producers of Respect, the new Aretha Franklin biopic starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, which is slated to hit theaters this summer.
 

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Rapper/actor Tip "T.I." Harris has been added to the cast of an upcoming Aretha Franklin TV project, Genius: Aretha. The "ASAP" hitmaker portrays Franklin's one-time lover, fashion designer Ken Cunningham.

Actress Cynthia Erivo will star as the late music icon in Genius: Aretha, an authorized limited TV series that chronicles the life and legacy of the late Queen of Soul.

Although production was halted earlier this month due to the global coronavirus chaos, show officials have unveiled new cast additions.

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T.I., 39, will play socially-conscious New York entrepreneur Cunningham, who approaches Aretha to invest in his fashion business, and ends up embarking on a relationship with the singer.

Cunningham eventually became the singer's road manager, and fathered her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham, who was born in April, 1970.

Notorious star Antonique Smith and acting newcomers Tina Fears and Ethan Henry have also been added to the line-up, with Henry set to portray civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The news was released to coincide with what would have been Aretha's 78th birthday on Wednesday, March 25.

Producers at National Geographic Network marked the occasion by releasing a new image of Erivo as the "Respect" legend.

Genius: Aretha, which also stars Courtney B. Vance as the musician's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was due to premiere this spring, but will now launch at a later date.

The TV series isn't the only screen project about Aretha in the works - Jennifer Hudson is also playing Franklin in a new movie biopic, titled Respect, which is set to debut this Christmas.

The biopic was pushed back from its previously-announced October opening, according to Deadline.

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Fox 21 Television Studios released a first-look photo of British actress Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

The studio released a photo that shows Erivo, 32, seated at a piano in a scene from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic.

Tony Award winner Erivo is best known for her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The movie Harriet is in theaters now.

Erivo will play Aretha in the third installment of the "Genius" series.

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Franklin died of natural causes at age 76 at her home in Detroit, Michigan on August 16, 2018. She is pictured above in 1968.

Erivo told Deadline.com she has been preparing herself for the role over the last few months.

"I've been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha's attitude and spirit. I'm truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we'll serve the Queen and create something special."

Also featured in the cast is actor Courtney B. Vance, 59, who plays Aretha's father, Rev. C. L. Franklin.

Vance is married to actress Angela Bassett, 61. He is best known for his role in The Preacher's Wife (1996), alongside the late singer Whitney Houston.

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Aretha Franklin fans reacted with excitement to the first images of singer Jennifer Hudson portraying the Queen of Soul in the upcoming biopic titled RESPECT, filmed on location in Manhattan's Harlem Neighborhood.

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Jennifer, pictured at a July 4th concert in Philadelphia, was transformed into Aretha for a scene with costar Marlon Wayans, 47, who plays her onscreen husband Ted While. In the scene, which takes place in 1966, Marlon collects money from prostitutes while Jennifer looks on from a car.

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Later Jennifer and Marlon share a passionate kiss in the car. The images were shot on November 2 by BACKGRID celebrity photo agency.

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Aretha, who passed away on Aug. 16, 2018 at age 76, personally handpicked Jennifer to play her in the biopic.

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The 38-year-old American Idol finalist is no stranger to big budget musicals. She played Effie Melody White in the 2006 movie, Dreamgirls, with Beyonce, left, and Anika Noni Rose, center. Jennifer notably sang "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in the film Dreamgirls.

Rev Jasper Williams

A nephew of the late soul singer Aretha Franklin said the Franklin family did not approve of the eulogy given by Rev. Jasper W. Williams, Jr. at Aretha's star-studded, 8-hour funeral in Detroit on August 31.

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Aretha Franklin's niece Sabrina Garrett shared details of the Queen of Soul's public viewing with INSIDE EDITION.

Thousands of mourners queued for blocks to view Aretha in repose in a gold-plated casket inside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Her body will be on view for four days leading up to Friday's funeral.

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