By DONNA BALANCIA
Aretha Franklin was celebrated during Women’s History Month, appropriately, on a TV special on CBS Sunday night.
The show “Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul,” had a welcome, throwback Sunday night TV feel to it.
John Legend, Celine Dion and Brandi Carlile were among the top names on the show. Artists across all musical genres paid tribute to the woman known as “The Queen of Soul.” Legend gave a captivating performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” a Simon and Garfunkel song Franklin magically covered.
Aretha Franklin put women on the map in the 1960s. She was talented, attractive, she had a knockout voice, but she represented women’s independence. “Respect” became the battlecry of women in the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s.
On the CBS special, Franklin’s legacy and music were honored by younger musicians as well as the veterans. Among those putting a modern spin on Aretha’s “gold” was Carlile who brought her soulful tones to “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.”
“I am just so excited to even be included in such an incredible event,” Carlile said. “I don’t know if there’s ever been a more dynamic and impactful human than Aretha Franklin, it’s a real honor to get to sing her songs tonight.”
One of the highlights was Celine Dion’s version of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” performed against a civil rights era backdrop. HER gave a sweet and soulful performance of “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Clive Davis addressed the young people, saying they should go online and look for Franklin’s videos. Davis advised people to watch, observe and study Aretha’s style and talent. Davis said “There’ll never ever be another Aretha Franklin.”