The American Music Awards paid tribute to Aretha Franklin. We all expected that. What the public didn’t expect, was that it would be a gospel tribute.Gospel music has been around for centuries, gospel music was a way to spread the Word of the bible to people. In the African American culture, gospel music originated during slavery.
Last night, America was reminded that the Queen of Soul, was a person who lead souls via her music, before she graced popular music. It was refreshing to see this part of her life being paid homage to.
She started there. She knew the struggle of following the way.With a Baptist minister as a father and a well rounded musician for a mother, it’s no wonder Franklin gravitated to the soulful sounds which developed in church, where she learned to sing. She recorded her first album, Songs of Faith, when she was just 14 years old and went on to make 41 more studio albums and six live albums.
Aretha’s song choices and vocals reached in to your soul and shook you awake. That is what made her so great. It was her deep seeing truth that she delivered with each note. That is precisely why the show chose to do their tribute this way.
They wanted you to take a moment and reflect on her roots. These roots made her. The roots that allowed her to meet death with grace because she was headed to the Father’s House.
The choice of vocalists was spot on. Each one of the people who were chosen honored her with their vocalists. They understood and honored her by choosing songs that she had made famous.
They chose songs that colored a lifetime and ushered in her eternity.