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Aretha Franklin tour bus breaks down en route to Chicago

Aretha Franklin thanked the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Public Safety for rescuing her earlier today after her luxury tour bus broke down in the wee hours of the morning just outside downtown Chicago as she was traveling for her July 11 concert at Ravinia in Highland Park.

According to a spokesperson for Franklin:

Franklin and her entourage were leaving her sold-out July 4 concert in Sioux City, Iowa, when her bus driver noticed the transmission was leaking. He stopped several times for transmission fluid but was unable to get the transmission fixed because of the holiday weekend. The bus, carrying 6 people, completely broke down on the eastbound Eisenhower at Sacramento around 1:20 a.m. Monday.

Her entourage called several limousine and car services but all were closed or had no vehicles because of the late hour and the holiday weekend. Within eight minutes, the Department of Public Safety arrived and towed the bus off the highway. The State Police then escorted Franklin and her entourage to their hotels.

“God was right on time,” Franklin said, noting how quickly help arrived. “Hallelujah!” Franklin exclaimed. “Hallelujah!”

It’s no secret that the Queen of Soul does not like to fly (it’s been decades since she boarded a plane), and travels by bus to all her engagements.

Tickets for her Ravinia concert Saturday night are available at