Robinson and a contingent of past hall of fame inductees, visited the Detroit City Council to express their interest and support in having the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame build a permanent museum in Detroit. The City Council directed Robinson and his supporters to find a location and bring the information back to them for their review. Today, the board is happy to announce that they've found a city-owned building on West Grand Blvd., which was the site of a former nursing home. From his office on Wednesday, Robinson said “the thought of having the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum on West Grand Blvd is a dream come true. With the iconic Motown Hitsville USA Museum less then a mile away, it would be a treat for music fans, not only in Detroit but globally, to have two extraordinary institutions of music history in such close proximity”. Cheryl Ruffin, Vice President of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame and the daughter of the late great David Ruffin of the Temptations, also chimed in; “this would bring such a major economic boost to Detroit”.
In addition, as noted previously, the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame has wide-ranging support from an abundance of Motown legends for example, Dionne Warwick, in the political arena with high-profile activist Rev. Al Sharpton and from Hollywood, with Oscar winner Morgan Freeman leading the charge. Erecting the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum in a city that has a long-standing musical history, would without question, cement Detroit as the Rhythm & Blues Capital of the World.
From the information the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame board has culled regarding the new plans for West Grand Blvd, and the $50,000,000.00 (million dollar) development for the Motown Hitsville USA Museum, the board could easily see an influx of 500,000 (thousand) to 1,000,000 (million) tourists visiting the new Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum on West Grand Blvd. The traffic would be akin to Beal Street in Memphis or to the multiple museums in Nashville. Both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland) and the Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville) have an annual attendance of over 500,000 (thousand) visitors, but neither has the musical legacy of Detroit.
The Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Museum will be a state-of-the-art, 45,000 sq. ft., highly interactive, virtual reality facility. It will take visitors on a journey of the history of R & B music from the days of the so-called “chitlin' circuit”, to historic venues and nightclubs, radio personalities, unsung heroes and heroines, on through to legendary record companies. This museum will have a hall of fame area for inductees, a walk of fame, a 500 seat theater, a musical themed restaurant, a gift shop, an urban youth after-school music academy, and a wing named the Motor-City Sound, dedicated to the history of Detroit music; Paradise Valley, The Flame Show Bar, The 20 Grand, radio legend Ernie Durham and radio station WJLB.
The board of the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, have started its fundraising events and has plans to announce a media partnership deal within the next few months, to televise its 2018 induction ceremony. Their plan is to first, meet with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the City Council and its President Brenda Jones, who was honored by the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2015, to discuss how they can partner to make this phenomenal global project a reality.