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Eminem Fires Up Crowd With Momentous Surprise Duet In Detroit

Image shows rapper Eminem on stage with the Detroit Symphony during the grand re-opening celebration of Michigan Central Station.

Michigan Central Station is a historic landmark in the Corktown district of Detroit. When the announcement was made that Eminem would headline “Live From Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central,” fans were excited. The rap star is a fixture in Detroit. He was born and raised in the Motor City and has included references in many of his hit songs. Eminem surprised fans by bringing country music star Jelly Roll to the stage. The duo sang Sing For the Moment, creating a momentous duet. Rocker Steven Tyler sang the vocals on the original recording in 2002.

The song, which came out on February 25, 2003, was the fourth single from The Eminem Show. During the concert, the rapper revisited some older songs. The star also sang Houdini, which was released on May 31, 2024. The new song will be the lead single on the rapper’s twelfth album, The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce).

Eminem had a unique backup band for the grand reopening of Michigan Central Station — the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Eminem and Jelly Roll were not the only big stars contributing to the festivities. The show also included Motor City greats Diana Ross, Big Sean, Slum Village, and Jack White. Gospel singers the Clark Sisters and Kierra Sheard were also on hand for the big event.

Eminem and Jelly Roll Helped Usher New Life Into Michigan Central Station

Many people may not understand the significance of Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s past. The station operated from 1913 to 1988 as the city’s primary rail hub. The building, which includes an 18-story tower containing over 500 offices, has 10 rail gates in the three-story depot and waiting area.

Image shows the tower and main station building of Michigan Central Station in 1988 when the building was left vacant for decades.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The building’s highlight was the waiting area. The marble floors, vaulted ceilings, and bronze chandeliers made Michigan Central Station a showplace! There was a restaurant, barber, florist, snack kiosks, a lunch counter, and more.

When I was a child, my great-grandmother worked at a kiosk in the waiting area. My dad would take me there to eat at the lunch counter. After lunch, I would get the BIGGEST, SHINIEST red delicious apple you could imagine! OK, I was four or five — everything was HUGE to me. If you cried, the acoustics in the vaulted space would amplify your wails for all to hear. Fond memories.

When Ford Motor Company bought the building in 2018, it had been empty for thirty years. Almost every window was broken, and debris was everywhere. Urban adventure seekers would sneak in to film themselves in the massive building for YouTube videos. Ford vowed to restore it to its original grandeur. It took six years, but with this grand opening, Detroit again has a showcase building to be proud of.

Left image shows Michigan Central Station with broken windows after standing abandoned for forty years. Right image shows the historic building in 2023 after years of restoration work.
Images from Wikimedia Commons and Pexels.

And like all things in Detroit, we celebrated it in style. Thank you, Eminem and Jelly Roll, for sharing your amazing talents. If you enjoyed this look at “Live From Detroit: The Concert at Michigan Central” and learning a bit of Detroit’s amazing history, please share it with friends and family.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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