Diana Ross, Eminem and Jack White perform for thousands as a former Detroit eyesore comes back to life

DETROIT (AP) — Countless of Detroit’s greatest musical exports, including Diana Ross, Eminem and Jack White, took to the stage in a pulsing soundscape held on the eve of the historic reopening of an 18-story building that has long symbolized their success. Hometown decline.

The more-than-90-minute “Live from Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central” concert Thursday night celebrated the city’s renovated train station, which reopened to the public on Friday, six years after Ford Motor Co. took control of the building and more than three decades Since the last train left.

The vacant Michigan Central Station fell into disrepair and became a symbol of the Motor City’s decadence. That is until 2018, when Ford announced that it would purchase the building and adjacent structures as part of the automaker’s plans for a campus focused on self-driving vehicles.

“Six years ago, we gathered here, dreaming of what was possible. “We dared to dream that this station, which had become a symbol of a broken city, could once again shine as a symbol of the Motor City,” said Bill Ford, CEO of his namesake company. to the crowd before Motown star Ross opened the festivities with “I’m Coming.”

The sold-out outdoor event, which was streamed live on Peacock, also featured performances from Big Sean, The Clark Sisters, Common, Fantasia, Melissa Etheridge and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Presenters included Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders, current Lions stars Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown and actors Taylor Lautner and Sophia Bush. Organizers said 20,000 people attended the event. More than 60,000 people plan to tour the train station over the next 10 days.

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“For most of my life, it was just an eyesore,” Big Sean said of the train station. “It’s an oasis in the middle of the city. It’s a metaphor for all of us: Our time is now.”

The concert was produced by Eminem and his long-time manager Paul Rosenberg. Eminem was not scheduled to perform at a concert, but he surprised attendees by closing the show with an exciting set that included his new single “Houdini,” as well as “Not Afraid” and the matching song “Welcome 2 Detroit.”

Eminem’s appearance may have been a highlight, but White’s performance wasn’t far behind.

When he announced that he and his band were “going to play some songs tonight that were written a few blocks from here,” White was met with a thunderous response when he played the opening chords of the anthem “Seven Nation Army,” which he recorded when he was a member of The White Stripes. White, who grew up not far from MCS, held his guitar high above his head with one hand as fireworks lit up the station behind him.

The massive structure, which rises high above Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, has been destroyed for years by scavengers and urban explorers. The station will now serve as an anchor for the sprawling 30-acre (12-hectare) Mobility Innovation District and emerging Corktown. The project is expected to create thousands of technology-related jobs. New restaurants, hotels and other service industry businesses are already moving into and near Corktown.

The reopening of the train station also comes at a time when Detroit is enjoying something of a renaissance.

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A decade to come out Her painful bankruptcyThe city stabilized its financial situation and stopped Population losses It has achieved success in cleaning up the pest across an area of ​​139 square miles (360 square kilometers). In April, Detroit was hired Record attendance for the NFL Draft When more than 775,000 fans flocked downtown over three days.

“I love seeing everyone in our city happy,” Ford said.

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