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Patti Smith & late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith receive Detroit honor

todayJune 7, 2024


Noam Galai/Getty Images for The Gordon Parks Foundation

Patti Smith was in Detroit Thursday to accept a special honor. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Smith and her late husband, MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, were honored for being ambassadors for Detroit, along with Jack White and Slum Village. They all received pieces of marble from Michigan Central Station at a ceremony held ahead of the all-star concert, Live From Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central, which celebrated the refurbishment and reopening of the historic train station.

“Fred loved the train station, and he would fantasize about it being restored and opened to the people. He really talked about it quite a bit, so I know that this would have made him very happy,” Smith told Billboard. “It means something to me that they’re honoring him, as he should be, and I’m happy to be included with him.”

“Some of the greatest and most important parts of my life have been in your great city,” Smith shared during her speech, which also had her reading aloud Eminem’s 2009 poem “Letter to Detroit.”

Live From Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central featured performances by White, Eminem, Melissa Etheridge, Diana Ross and more. It streamed live on Peacock, and a one-hour special will air Sunday on NBC at 7 p.m.


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