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Sound Mind Sound Body Pays Homage to the Queen of Detroit

By Jalisa Bannerman, SMSB Journalist

The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, formerly Chene Park, is an iconic outdoor amphitheater among one of the busiest waterways in the world. Renamed in 2019 after civil rights activist and Queen of Detroit, Aretha Franklin, the historic venue holds the very essence of transcending societal norms through groundbreaking forms of expression and opportunity.

The cheerleaders of Sound Mind Sound Body broke history just last year by becoming the first youth organization to incorporate stunting in a local competition. The skillful group of 1,000 cheerleaders has once again embarked on a revolutionary opportunity to become the first cheer group to perform on the stage of the Aretha this Thursday.

For many, it will be their first time standing on a stage once occupied by notable performers such as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, New Edition, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Will Downing, and more.

The venue’s stage, seating, and adjacent multilevel pavilion are often the focal point of attention. However, the beauty of Detroit’s rich history and the sounds of hope hovering in the air amplifies the venue’s experience.

The Cheer Showcase gives the community a chance to support one of the most gifted cheer groups in America while also showing R-E-S-P-E-C-T to one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses. Aretha Franklin’s performances were famously known for conveying depth and untold complexities. The Queen of Detroit openly used her musical platform to drive the needle for change, inspiring us all to use our gifts for the greater good.

Thursday’s event will convey the value of embracing Detroit’s history and considering ways we can best impact our communities. The event will make a special day in history for all performers, Detroiters, cheer enthusiasts, and generations to come.

Tickets for the summer’s largest Cheer Showcase can be purchased through Eventbrite.

About Sound Mind Sound Body Youth Association:

Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) services over 5,000 students and has over 1,100 volunteers who spend approximately 300 hours annually giving back to Metro Detroit youth. The after-school college readiness program empowers athletes to achieve excellence on and off the field while fostering character, leadership, and overall well-being.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jalisa Bannerman

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