Music fan behind ‘Aretha’ signs at Franklin Ave subway aims for permanent tribute mural

August 21, 2018

Upon hearing of the death of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin last week, music enthusiast and location manager LeRoy McCarthy corralled a street artist friend and got to work on a fitting sendoff–”Aretha,” stenciled in magenta sprayable chalk lettering above each sign that identified the Franklin Avenue subway station in Brooklyn. Curbed reports that McCarthy, who was responsible for efforts to name streets for Notorious B.I.G. in Clinton Hill, Phife Dawg in Queens and the Beastie Boys in the Lower East Side, among others, hopes to create a more permanent tribute. The plan is to create the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T in large black letters on a blank wall just south of Fulton Street on the west side of Franklin Avenue.

McCarthy hopes the title to Franklin’s beloved anthem displayed at the a busy intersection will be “significant in more ways than one. Some people will make the instant connection of Aretha Franklin, but the word respect is something…that transfers to the community. It transfers to police officers, it transfers to drivers and bicyclists. A lot of eyes will be on that.”

McCarthy has been in touch with the MTA Arts & Design department, which is responsible for public art. MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein said in a statement, “We’re in discussions with the community, and as everyone does, we have ever-lasting respect for Aretha—so we’ll work something out to honor her legacy.”

[Via Curbed]

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