Aretha Franklin's childhood home in Memphis, TN has become a refuge for fans wanting to leave messages of love for the Queen of Soul, but police are on the lookout for any type of vandalism, even if it's a message of love.
The Memphis PD tells The Blast they understand the world is "grief stricken" over the passing of Aretha Franklin, but want to discourage any fans from defacing her childhood home on Lucy Ave. Law enforcement is asking the public to be considerate of the Franklin's family during this difficult time, and stress that expressions of love should not include vandalism.
The abandoned house where Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 has become a gathering point for fans over the last week as news spread that Franklin's health was rapidly failing, and the boarded up windows are now littered with handwritten messages from fans, including ones that read, "Always Respect Yourself."
We're told police will be adding additional patrol units to the area and will be on the lookout for anyone messing with the property. In the hours since her passing on Thursday, fans have gathered outside to play Franklin's music and share stories of her life.
Police tell us the city will also be erecting a makeshift memorial very shortly so that fans will have a designated area to leave mementos and tributes for the fallen icon. The city put up a sign outside the property last year commemorating the landmark as the first home of Franklin. There has also been ongoing efforts from the community to restore the home.
Even though the world is mourning, we're told "the law is the law," and anyone caught defacing the property will be cited.