The music world was dealt a major blow on Thursday when Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76.
She grew her musical roots in her father’s church in Detroit. She was officially crowned the Queen of Soul in Chicago.
Morning Shift checks in with four Chicago singers across genres who share how Aretha Franklin influenced their approaches to music.
From the Classics To The Deep Cuts
Jenn White: “We asked everybody to bring their favorite songs from Aretha, but this is one of mine. This is a song released in 1976. And a lot of people—strangely to me—don’t know that Aretha Franklin sang the soundtrack to the movie ‘Sparkle.’ […] The sensuality she’s able to infuse is just off the charts.”
Krystal Metcalfe: “Running Out of Fools” is such a great song and people rarely play it. […] It just feels so good and has a good groove and rock to it.”
Tammy McCann: “She brought herself to every genre of music that she stepped into. And that’s one of the things I learned from her—I don’t have to sound like Ella, I don’t have to sound like Dinah. I can just be myself. And she swung this song, man, it’s nothing but swing.”
Lili K: “Bridge Over Troubled Water for both the technical aspects of her nuance and her performance of it. That song has gotten me through every heartbreak, every sadness… whenever I just need to cry, I put that song on repeat til this day. And it just makes me feel like it’s gonna be okay.”
E. Faye Butler: ”[‘Mary, Don’t You Weep’] is my first introduction to Aretha Franklin as a child. That’s how I knew Aretha Franklin. I knew her as a singer in church. […] And so when I think of Aretha Franklin it brings up so many warm feelings of how I grew up and how the church can bless you with such a great gift.”
GUESTS: Tammy McCann, Chicago jazz singer
Lili K, Chicago jazz and soul singer
Krystal Metcalfe, Chicago singer
E. Faye Butler, Chicago singer and actor