Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, died yesterday at age 76. Quartz has a great tribute to Aretha with many quotes, videos and photos.
“The girl has taken that song from me. Ain’t no longer my song. From now on, it belongs to her.”
—Otis Redding, after hearing Aretha’s version of “Respect”
Two stories I loved reading about, one where she stood in for Pavarotti at the 1998 Grammys:
"SHE SAVED OUR ASS."
Of all the unpredictable moments that ended up defining the ‘98 Grammys, only one had a resolution that everyone could agree was a triumph. When Grammy Living Legend honoree Luciano Pavarotti informed the show producers that he was too ill to sing his “Nessun Dorma” aria as scheduled, they reached out to soul legend Aretha Franklin -- who had performed the song at a MusiCares dinner nights before in Pavarotti’s honor -- to step in for her friend at the last second. Franklin agreed, and the vocal powerhouse’s jaw-dropping understudy moment is still considered one of the greatest performances in award-show history.
The other story was from a concert at San Francisco's Fillmore West where she brought Ray Charles up on stage to sing with her. SF Gate talks about the event.
On the third night of a three-night stint at San Francisco's Fillmore West in 1971, Aretha Franklin pulled an "impeccably dressed" man from the audience onto the stage.
He was dressed in "charcoal from head do toe" and his eyes were "obscured by wrap-around dark glasses," The Chronicle reported in a review of the show.
Within seconds the huge crowd recognized Ray Charles and he joined Franklin in the legendary 9-minute rendition of "Spirit in the Dark." (The two had allegedly met for the first time earlier that day.)
You can see the moment at around the 55 minute mark in the video below.