2018-08-16T17:46:46+00:00 2018-08-16T17:46:46+00:00

EARMILK remembers the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin

Today, at the age of 76, Aretha Franklin passed away after her battle with pancreatic cancer. Beyond her being the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and having won 18 Grammys, the Queen of Soul touched the lives of many no matter the generation. Her music has the ability to encapsulate the emotions you may be feeling. Whether it be happiness or heartbreak, the Queen has you covered. 

To remember the Queen of Soul, the EARMILK staff has shared a few songs/performances that have made a lasting impression.

"The Weight", This Girl's In Love With You

This is one of Aretha’s most incredible moments. While we might know The Band’s “The Weight” as a timeless track, at its release in 1968 it wasn’t a chart topping track. Aretha Franklin somehow decided to cover the track for her album ‘This Girl’s In Love With You’ that came out just a year later, and completely transformed the song, elevating it to evergreen in our musical history. If you know the original version of “The Weight” and its storytelling and haven’t heard Aretha’s version, hold onto your seat – it’s Example A of the singer’s prolific understanding of music, soul and herself. Not to mention, she totally flips the script on the cover dynamic of that time in music history. – Steph Evans

 

"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", Lady Soul

Aretha Franklin was an early introduction true gospel and soul for me growing up. A powerhouse voice from an early 1940's Memphis that could not only shatter the hearts of listeners but shake the pillars of the building. A commanding presence and no fu*cks attitude, all the while donning a sequenced dress and a mink fur shawl. She was the true 'Queen of Soul' in every way. – David Sikorski

 

"One Step Ahead", Take A Look

Deep cut, but Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) brought me to this one. – Evan Crandell

 

"Think", Aretha Now

I can't remember the first time I heard Aretha Franklin's music, but I do remember it being at almost every turn of my growing up. From car rides to and from school to family reunions, the Queen of Soul soundtracked many moments of my life. When I found out that she was born in Memphis while on a field trip in middle school, I felt even more drawn to her music. "Think" is a classic and has always been a favorite. Something about her performance of it in the 1980's film The Blues Brothers always makes me smile. – McKenzii Webster

 

"Call Me", This Girl's In Love With You

"Call Me" will always be one of Aretha's most beautiful moments. When I was young and listening to family CD's – this a track that truly became a hairbrush karaoke singalong every single time. The passion in Aretha's voice and the drive behind every word is absolutely outstanding. If this doesn't make you feel some sort of way, I don't know what will. Amy Fielding

 

"I Say A Little Prayer", Aretha Now

"Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", Soul Sister

It would be unfair to say I listened to a plethora of Aretha Franklin songs growing up, but one song I do remember as a child was "I Say a Little Prayer". My parents had the video as part of a playlist, which me and siblings watched over and over again. That definitely would be the very first introduction to her music. Another song that really stuck with me and is actually my favourite song of hers is "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", I must have gotten it from my ex's laptop and for some reason I kinda fell in love with it ever since. The vibrant soulful arrangement and her engulfing vocals on this record are so freaking amazing not to speak of the driving switch ups/breakdowns, which build up to a crescendo on the bridge. More importantly, the love-lorn lyrics really, really resonate deep within me. – Tayo Odutola

 

"Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", Spirit In the Dark

This is the best live performance you’ll see on a random talk show to date. – Steph Evans

 

"You Send Me", Aretha Now

You can't help but sing along and groove to "You Send Me". – McKenzii Webster

Photo Credit: Moneta Sleet, Jr./Ebony Collection, via Associated Press

Categories:
Main Stage · Soul

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