Aretha Franklin lady of mysterious sorrows will be remembered forever.
The Queen of Soul once said of her music it’s “me with my hand outstretched, hoping someone will take it”.
And take it they did.
It was the whole world that took it – the groove that was hers became theirs.
The late Queen of Soul was complicated, difficult, brilliant, eccentric but above all a mercurial artist that took the music world by storm.
But few REALLY knew her.
Knew what she was all about.
But like her music she was haunting, memorable and totally unexplainable.
“I think of Aretha as Our Lady of Mysterious Sorrows,” Jerry Wexler once said.
Wexler was the Atlantic Records producer that helped raise her to sudden and incomparable heights.
That was in 1967.
“Her eyes are incredible, luminous eyes covering inexplicable pain. Her depressions could be as deep as the dark sea. I don’t pretend to know the sources of her anguish, but anguish surrounds Aretha as surely as the glory of her musical aura.”
Barack Obama said this of Franklin:
“Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect.
May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
Her professional career spanned more than half a century.
But her music not only topped the charts, it became part of our everyday vernacular.
“Respect,” written by Otis Redding, became a call to arms.
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” was an earthy expression of sexuality.
“Think,” became a rallying cry for women fed up with loutish men.
Her awards were numerous.
One of the biggest – being the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.