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Listen to a Marvin's Room tribute to Aretha Franklin

Amanda Parris

Around the world fans of soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, the blues, rock & roll and even fans of Opera, are paying tribute to the woman considered to be the greatest singer in the history of pop music. On Thursday, August 16th, 2018 Aretha Franklin passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.

So today we are paying tribute to the undisputable Queen of Soul. Listen to our Aretha Franklin special.

Listen to Marvin's Room August 17 2018 - A Tribute To Aretha Franklin

Marvin's Room with Amanda Parris on CBC Radio


Mary J. Blige once wrote: “Aretha is a gift from God. When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.”

We asked several female Canadian soul singers (and Marvin's Room faves) to share their thoughts on the Queen of Soul and what her life and music has meant to them:

Tanika Charles: “I think I can safely say that my father was an Aretha Aficionado. I’m trying to remember a Sunday morning when we didn’t hear Aretha blasting from our basement throughout the house, trying to sing her songs but that voice was astronomical! All I could do was hum and listen. Aretha was one of my early influences as a performer. Inspiring me to want to become a phenomenal entertainer...even when I wasn't sure what I wanted to be..but her music in our home made a serious impression in my psyche. I still have a hard time singing her songs but won’t stop listening. Ever. She’s the queen.”

Tika: "Aretha Franklin was one of the first Black Female musicians that I had ever listened to growing up. Her voice was literally effortless and flowed out like water. I identified with her as she was someone who grew up in the church. Her live gospel album Amazing Grace was the record that struck my soul with her rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Wholy Holy.” She impacted my career greatly and is one of the most inspiring singers I have ever heard."

Nuela Charles: "Aretha Franklin has always been the type of artist that I have aspired to be. Someone who stands in her truth and is confident in who she is as an artist. She makes no apologies for it, and is not afraid to tell it like it is. In a generation where “fast music” is consumed on a daily, I continue to try and be like her and her peers, where the artistry shone through and the music made people feel something in their soul."

Ania Soul: "I was sitting in a cafe on Queen St. W with a friend this morning when I heard the news of Aretha's passing and I cried. I quickly got up with tears in my eyes to tell the barista to play Aretha (almost demanding). Although there was a sad emotion I was processing, there was a calm knowing there was so much I could embrace myself with that the Queen of Soul left behind. I have been influenced by Aretha as a little girl through her gospel music first. I was only allowed to listen to gospel music as a young girl because my mother was an ordained minister and such were the rules. I am so grateful that her voice was one of the greatest and purest voices to premiere in my life through her Amazing Grace album and be the impetus for me to even want to be a singer. Naturally as I got older, seeking out more of her music lead me to be a firm believer that she is the real deal. Not only did she throw down as a singer with an incredible range and ability to connect to an audience with such rawness and soul, she was a highly skilled piano player, band leader, musician etc …She was a true leader at such a young age, a young black woman in a male dominated music world, but she undeniably had talent. She has had a huge impact on me as a soul singer and forever has left an impression on me and my music for life times to come. A living legend has physically left the building but her spirit and legacy lives on without question."

Marvin's Room Playlist for our Tribute to Aretha Franklin on August 17, 2018

  1. Aretha Franklin, “Think”
  2. Aretha Franklin, “Chain of Fools”
  3. Tanika Charles, “Endless Chain”
  4. Aretha Franklin, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”
  5. Divine Brown, “Old Skool Love”
  6. Aretha Franklin, “Ain’t No Way”
  7. Aretha Franklin, “I Say a Little Prayer”
  8. Aretha Franklin, “A Rose is Still a Rose”
  9. Jully Black, “Until I Stay”
  10. Aretha Franklin, “Precious Lord Take My Hand / You’ve Got a Friend (Medley)”
  11. Aretha Franklin, “The Weight”
  12. Aretha Franklin, “Respect”