Aretha Franklin, RIP

She’d been ill for a while, and now she’s gone. She will be greatly missed.

One of her biggest hits: Otis Redding’s “Respect.” Upon hearing her cover of it, Redding reportedly said, “That little girl done went and stole my song.” Yup.

Here she is teaming up with Duane Allman on the slide to cover the Band’s classic, “The Weight.”

Her appearance in The Blues Brothers remains a classic, with her doing “Think,” with some delightfully spastic backup dancing by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

One of my favorites of Aretha’s is a duet she did with Eurythmics in 1985, as she and Annie Lennox teamed up for the feminist anthem “Sisters are Doin’ It For Themselves.”

Finally, I have to end with this. Carole King was honored at the Kennedy Center in 2015. Chilina Kennedy, who was playing King in the play Beautiful, was narrating King’s life, and here we see her talking about the last song she wrote before leaving New York, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” which she wrote for Aretha Franklin. To King’s abject shock and delight in the audience, Franklin herself then came out in a fur coat, sat down at the piano, and started playing the song. It’s an amazing performance by the then-73-year-old Franklin. Watch King’s stunned reaction when she realizes that Franklin is going to do the song (not to mention President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama bopping along to the tune).

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