After decades helping define the direction of American music with songs like “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Aretha Franklin died Aug. 16 surrounded by family and friends in Detroit. She was 76.
Area musicians took the opportunity to reflect on the Queen of Soul’s reign and enduring legacy.
“I can’t remember a time in my life when Aretha Franklin wasn’t a musical phenomenon,” said blues musician Bobby “BlackHat” Walters. “There will never be a second queen of soul. She is a one of a kind.”
He recalled watching Franklin perform at the 1998 Grammys, filling in for Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti at the last minute when he fell too ill to...