Aretha Franklin welcomes ‘Idol’ to her hometown of Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Aretha Franklin not only is the “Queen of Soul.” She’s also the queen of “American Idol.”

The music legend welcomed the long-running TV singing competition to her hometown of Detroit Wednesday.

The three musically accomplished judges — Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. — and host Ryan Seacrest were on hand at The Fillmore Detroit, as were the contestants.

But the star of the show was Franklin. She served as a mentor to the contestants and performed on the Fillmore’s stage.

Urban says “it’s a huge deal” to have Franklin associated with the show.

This week’s “Idol” episodes are scheduled to air Wednesday and Thursday nights. They feature the remaining 12 male and 12 female contestants.