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Blame it on Detroit City Council: Michael Jackson street naming ceremony canceled

Jackson 5
CBS Television
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Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A planned ceremony to name part of a street in Detroit’s theater district after Michael Jackson has been cancelled, the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday.

A stretch of Randolph Street was set to be designated Michael Jackson Avenue at a naming ceremony this Friday as part of the Detroit Music Weekend festival. But after the surviving members of the Jackson 5 – who are scheduled to perform as the festival’s Saturday night headliner – were surprised to discover that the street would only honor their brother, the ceremony has been canceled.

The Jacksons were under the impression that the street would be named to honor the entire Jackson 5, not just Michael. But an amendment passed last year by the Detroit City Council bans street designations for groups and organizations.

Stephen Grady, chief of staff for council president Brenda Jones, says the council still plans to do “something” for the Jackson 5, but that they’re “still working through the process.”

At last year’s Detroit Music Weekend Festival, the city designated a stretch of Madison Street Aretha Franklin Way.

The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records 50 years ago in Detroit, where they recorded some of their first records for the company. Most of their big hits were recorded in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson died in 2009 of a prescription drug overdose, at 50 years old. The surviving members of the Jackson 5 – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon – are still scheduled to perform on Saturday at the festival’s main stage on Madison Street.

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