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Saying goodbye to the Queen

August 17, 2018

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Heavy hearts around the globe are memorializing and listening to the recordings of one of the most powerful, talented musicians we’ve seen in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul died on the 16th of this month after struggling with cancer.

For her official biography, visit

Wow … she sculpted our culture during her decades-long career … from Gospel to Rhythm and Blues, Soul to Jazz, Opera to cameo roles in iconic films like the Blues Brothers (Think.)

Many outstanding performances come to mind as I have read and listened to the news, visited with friends on Facebook, and in my company relate their Aretha tales. I find encapsulating her amazing life and songbook is near impossible.

Tributes, biographies and anthologies can barely touch her truly strong, musical talent and 76-year life. I can share some of my favorite performances with you, dear Readers. I know you have collected your own.

“One of the most popular cover songs of all time, Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” has been sung by many talented artists, but none can belt it quite like Franklin herself. The singer gave one of her most memorable performances of the tune three years ago at the 2015 Kennedy Center honors, bringing audience members like Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Viola Davis to their feet before she’d even finished singing — and showed some trademark sass by throwing her fur coat onto the stage floor.”  Variety, Christi Carras

Aretha’s legacy will remain in our lives for a very long time, and for future generations … but like many of the iconic voices of our age, such as Tom Petty, David Bowie, Joe Cocker, and Glenn Frey, she left way too soon.

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