August 18, 2018: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has found lasting peace. One of the greatest singers of the twentieth century found a new realm at the age of 76, leaving behind a body of work that affords her immortality.
After 18 Grammys and a six-decade career that included renditions at the funeral of Martin Luther King and the inaugurations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, there wasn’t much left for Aretha to accomplish.
But the singer was also a great admirer of golf. She was a diehard fan of Tiger Woods and wished for her to walk 18 holes with the 14-time major winner. Unfortunately, she will have to console her soul with the experience of watching Woods rewrite golf history.
Aretha would often hit the driving range, to work her limbs and soothe her mind. The great singer told Andy Smith of the Providence Journal that hitting golf balls and walking a few holes helped her relax and unwind.
Aretha’s voice was medicinal to her followers. It afforded them a joy that was otherwise not available to them. As her voice found fever pitch, she would have even the most well-heeled music lovers jump out their seats in delirium.
It was a pity that pancreatic cancer took her life. Her glory days may have been well behind this ageing singer, but her presence and physical appearance meant the world to her innumerable fans. They will miss her sorely.
At her peak in the 1960s and 1970s, Aretha offered her fans a remarkable taste of divine experiences that lingered through their lifetimes.
Aretha for the Americans and other fans worldwide was much like MS Subbalakshmi to classical music loving Indians.
Her fame and popularity were stratospheric. But then many fans had to make do with audio and video to experience the magic of Aretha. She had a great fear of flying and would not board an aircraft after 1983.
But for a woman of Aretha’s range and grace, she barely needed an aeroplane to soar into the skies. Her voice allowed Aretha the luxury almost at will.