Why Did Aretha Franklin Really Cancel Her Show In Rockford?
Aretha Franklin canceled her show in Rockford and here's why she really did it.
Rockford has hosted many great concerts throughout the years. Some of the most memorable ones have been at the BMO Harris Bank Center, Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford Speedway, and more. The Forest City has a deep history of live music. There have also been some that for some reason or another never actually happened.
On January 31st of this year, the BMO Harris Bank Center aka Rockford MetroCentre had its 40th anniversary. Since we could not have a big party to celebrate, I have been doing a series of interviews and flashback moments.
One of the special guests that joined me to tell some stories was Don Kronberg, the owner of NiteLite Promotions. His company has put on many shows in Rockford through the years.
During the interview, we really hit it off and had a fun chat. We decided to expand it to a weekly segment. It is called "Backstage Pass, an Inside Look at the Concert Industry." Kronberg pulls back the curtain and shares his experiences in the live music world.
In this latest episode, Don discusses an Aretha Franklin show that was scheduled for the Coronado but unfortunately, never happened. There have been many rumors about it but now it is time for the real story. That was a NiteLite Promotions production so he lived out the whole situation.
Check out the story from Don Kronberg's appearance on Double T Mornings.
Video: When Aretha Franklin Called The Coronado A Dump
Here's the deal, before the multi-million dollar renovation of the Coronado, the place had seen better days. It was an okay place if you were going to see a show but for the artist, it was not ideal. I had been backstage a few times myself and it was unfit for performers coming to town. It is a beautiful place in all aspects now.
Aretha Franklin was scheduled to play in the new and improved venue. Unfortunately, she had talked to a friend in the industry who had played there before all the work was done on the building and had a bad experience. They warned Franklin to avoid the place.
That is how the business works. Word of mouth about theaters, cities, and more get passed from artist to artist. It does not take much to earn a bad reputation. NiteLite Promotions tried everything to convince her to change her mind about the show but she was not having it.
Aretha did call the Coronado a dump. She left a message on her manager's voicemail. He shared that with the promoter. They tried to hold the story but once the show was canceled, the word got out. The media coverage blew up about it, not just in Rockford but all over the country.
The singer was getting a lot of bad press about the scenario. Soon after, the story about a sick family member was released. That cover-up did not work. She never did come back to Rockford.
I look forward to his next story.
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