The Queen of Soul is now the Doctor of Soul. Aretha Franklin was given an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Case Western Reserve University.

The evening was all about Mrs. Franklin. Playhouse Square’s State Theatre hosted the 16th Annual American Music Masters paying tribute to her life and her music.

Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder will confer the Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of 18-time Grammy Award winners contributions to and achievement in American culture.

While honorary degrees typically are awarded during the university’s spring Commencement ceremonies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first female inductee will received her degree at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, during the American Music Master’s tribute concert at the PlayhouseSquare State Theatre. The concert concludes the weeklong celebration, “Lady Soul: the Life and Music of Aretha Franklin,” a reflection on Franklin’s legacy and contributions to popular music.

Witnessing the event will be concert performers, including Hall of Fame Inductees Dennis Edwards (of the Temptations), Ronald Isley (of the Isley Brothers), and Spooner Oldham, 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee Chaka Khan, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Patti Austin, Carla Cook, Melinda Doolittle, Mike Farris and Cissy Houston.

The honorary degree is reflective of the long-standing collaboration between the Rock Hall and Case Western Reserve. For 16 years, the university’s College of Arts and Sciences has partnered with the Rock Hall to provide an educational tribute to American Music Masters honorees. The College of Arts and Sciences continues its commitment to the study of popular music with the recent establishment of a Rock and Popular Music Institute.

The university’s Board of Trustees approved Franklin as an honorary degree candidate during its meeting on Oct. 15 in recognition of her excellence in the performing arts. She also is being recognized for her valuable work during the civil rights movement.

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Courtesy Of WOIO.COM

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