It’s been 41 years since Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, passed away. Today, it’s announced that we’ve lost the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. I’ve been expecting this announcement for a while now. There were mutterings that she was rapidly losing weight, and the rumors abounded as is typical surrounding one of her celebrity status. I hoped she’d pull through, but something told me to prepare.
Aretha Franklin was one of those magical voices that transcends time and genre, like Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald. She’s been a part of my musical odyssey since I was young. I think, perhaps, I was always aware of her music, seeing as how it never stopped being played on the radio… and never will be. But the first time I became aware of her as the voice behind the music is, ironically, the same place I came to know Ray Charles: the 1980 feature film The Blues Brothers. I can think of no more fitting tribute to Aretha than to circle around to where I first properly discovered her.
Thank you for the music, Aretha. Your legend will live on forever.
My heart goes out to those she leaves behind.