EXCLUSIVE The great Aretha Franklin passed away four years ago today and we miss her every day. Aretha was one of the bravest people ever to grace on this planet, a true artist who overcame suffering on a daily basis. She also had a wicked sense of humor. There’s so much to say that hasn’t been said yet about this remarkable woman.
In her hometown of Detroit I can tell you exclusively that Aretha will be celebrated on September in a special concert. “A Night of Respect” will be a small, semi-private affair in honor also of the 170th anniversary of the Detroit YMCA. Only 100 tickets will go on sale August 27th for the September 27th show.
The evening will feature Detroit star singer Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”) and Aretha’s cousin and long time backup singer, Brenda Franklin Corbett. I’m told all the musicians on stage will be veterans of Aretha’s bands over the years including singer Millie Scott.
What a splendid way to honor Aretha and the YMCA! Tickets should sell out almost immediately, so I hope they decide to two shows. Aretha would be very flattered. Plus there will be an exhibition of photographs from Detroit’s top shooter, Linda Solomon, at the Y.
One PS on this sad day: how did Aretha Franklin become the Queen of Soul? There are many pretenders to the throne currently. But what they’re not getting is that Aretha was committed to the music. Everything she did was original, and there was plenty of it. Even when she adapted a song — like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — she made it her own. And she didn’t wait six years between releases. There isn’t a year without an Aretha release, and every single one of them displayed her devotion to her craft.
We miss you, Aretha!