By Anna Daniels
This past week we learned that Aretha Franklin was approaching the end of her life surrounded by friends, family and luminaries. During the ensuing days, images of Aretha and strains of her songs have been shared in the public sphere. Many of us have gone through our own personal play list of the Queen of Soul who died today.
Her hit song “Respect” which was released in 1967 became a rallying cry for so many of us. Aretha’s producer Jerry Wexler described its significance.
‘Respect’ had the biggest impact, truly global in its influence, with overtones for the civil-rights movement and gender equality, Wexler said. It was an appeal for dignity combined with a blatant lubricity. There are songs that are a call to action. There are love songs. There are sex songs. But it’s hard to think of another song where all those elements are combined.
It was followed by an astounding discography over the next decades that we moved our bodies to with the joy of simply being alive or that we let sink into our tired, troubled hearts.
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. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin 1942-2018
Someday We’ll All Be Free