Aretha Franklin Marvels Audience, Still Reigning Queen of Soul

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CLARKSTON, Mich. — One of the world’s all-time greatest vocalists unfurled those magical pipes once again in her metro Detroit hometown, blowing intoxicating melodies onto her audience as if she were sprinkling gold dust from the rafters.

Looking dramatically trimmed down in comparison to her more robust days, Aretha Franklin, armed with her 18-piece band, took the audience captive for two hours Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and her own “Chain of Fools,”

The Queen of Soul, 72, continues to demonstrate why she was named the No. 1 vocalist of all-time by Rolling Stone magazine and was the 2005 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. She was also the 1999 recipient of the National Medal of Arts and performed at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton.

The Memphis, Tenn.-born and Detroit-bred Franklin returned from intermission, where she exchanged her rose-colored gown for a dazzling white off-the-shoulder dress befitting of musical royalty. Franklin with the few thousand people as if they were gathered around her piano in her living room.

The 18-time Grammy Award winner finished her 16-song set as strong as she started, with sing-alongs to “Freeway of Love” and an encore of her signature hit “Respect,” all while photos snipped from her more than 50-year career were sprinkled liberally throughout the night on the video screens.

Take a look at some of the photo highlights from Franklin’s performance at the DTE.

(Photography: Montez Miller for Real Times Media)

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