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 Thursday night in a pulsing soundscape held on the eve of the historic reopening of an 18-story building that has long symbolized The decline of their hometown.

The more-than-90-minute “Live from Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central” celebrated the city’s renovated train station, which will open to the public on Friday, six years after Ford Motor Co. took control of the building and more than three Decades since then. The last train pulled out.

The vacant Michigan Central Station fell into disrepair and became a symbol of the Motor City’s decline. 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 Ross, the Motown star, 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.

“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.”

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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,” “Not Afraid” and, most appropriately, “Welcome 2 Detroit.”

Eminem’s appearance may have been the highlight of the night for those in attendance, but White’s performance wasn’t far behind.

When he announced that he and his band were “going to play some songs that were written a few blocks from here,” White was met with a thunderous response when he strummed the opening chords of the anthem “Seven Nation Army,” which he sang. It was recorded while 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 had been ravaged for years by scavengers and urban explorers and rose high above Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. 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.

A decade after emerging from painful bankruptcy, the city has stabilized its finances, halted population losses, and made progress in cleaning up blight across its 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.

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

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