Ceremony to name street after Michael Jackson called off

US popstar Michael Jackson performs during his HIStory World Tour concert in Vienna, on July 2, 1997.
US popstar Michael Jackson performs during his HIStory World Tour concert in Vienna, on July 2, 1997. PHOTO: REUTERS

CHICAGO • Do not tell the taxi driver to take you to Michael Jackson Avenue just yet.

An event to name the street after the King of Pop has hit a bump.

Michael Jackson Avenue was supposed to be officially unveiled today in the Motor City, just as the late artist's surviving brothers prepared to perform at a weekend concert.

But the ceremony was called off, as members of the Jackson 5 - the family act where Michael Jackson got his start - wondered why the entire group was not being honoured.

Under city rules, honorary street names cannot be granted to groups or organisations, only persons, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported.

A city official told the newspaper that the naming ceremony was called off while a solution is sought.

"We're still working through the process," Mr Stephen Grady said.

The street naming was announced in the middle of last month with much fanfare, with two members of the Jackson 5 at the news conference.

The tribute was to come 50 years after the family group birthed their career with a successful recording contract audition in Detroit.

Jackson died in 2009 at age 50 from a fatal dose of drugs, including the powerful anaesthetic propofol.

Had the street naming gone ahead, his honorary stretch of road would have been near the one named after the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Her street naming took place last year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2018, with the headline 'Ceremony to name street after Michael Jackson called off'. Print Edition | Subscribe