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While Aretha Franklin has been resting up after treatments for an undisclosed illness, she is still sponsoring a gospel music concert and dinner Aug. 25 at her late father’s Detroit church, New Bethel Baptist Church. The event is billed “The Battle at New Bethel (Come and Get Your Blessing),” headlined by Shirley Caesar, the Clark Sisters, J.J. Hairston, Youthful Praise and Tanya Blount (more acts will be announced soon). A buffet will be offered from 5 p.m. on, featuring some of Franklin’s favorite recipes, including ReeRee’s Hot Water Cornbread, baked chicken and dressing, black-eyed peas with okra, spaghetti and meatballs, gumbo, fried fish, mac and cheese, Aretha’s Oxtail Soup, homemade ice cream, peach cobbler and banana pudding. Admission is free, doors open at 5 p.m. with the program following at 6 p.m. The church is at 8430 C.L. Franklin Blvd., and the Rev. Robert Smith is the pastor.


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