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Major League Baseball to Honor Aretha Franklin for Her Support of Civil Rights

Aretha's RecordsAretha Franklin will be presented with Major League Baseball's Beacon Award at a special ceremony that will take place August 24 at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field prior to the seventh annual Civil Rights game.  The awards are handed out to people whose "lives embody the spirit of the civil rights movement."

In honoring the Queen of Soul, Major League Baseball cites her inspirational performances during the 1960s in support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign for civil rights, while also noting that her classic rendition of "Respect" helped spread a message of equality.

Franklin will be presented with a Beacon Award alongside multiple sports star Bo Jackson, who will be honored for his work in raising money to aid Alabama tornado victims.  Franklin and Jackson also will be saluted during a luncheon held before the Civil Rights Game.

"The MLB Beacon Awards offer a positive reminder that there are individuals who use their celebrity and fame to make a positive difference in our society," says MLB executive and Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.  "Major League Baseball is honored to bestow this special recognition on Bo Jackson and Aretha Franklin and to have them be a part of our weekend activities surrounding the Civil Rights Game."

The game, which will see the Chicago White Sox take on the Texas Rangers, will air live on the MLB Network starting at 7:10 p.m. ET/6:10 p.m. CT.

Previous Major League Baseball Beacon Award winners include Carlos Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire and Harry Belafonte.

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