Aretha Franklin: A Diva Remembered

Donasia Harry

On Aug. 16, 2018, we lost a diva with a beautiful talent that touched us all. Aretha Franklin passed away due to a fight with pancreatic cancer. Her music touched the hearts of people and has impacted many generations today. From past to present, artists look up to her as a woman with talent, confidence and beauty. I researched many artists, who were inspired by her. For instance, Alicia Keys, who is a well-renowned artist by her own right, posted a video of herself giving tribute to the late singer. “Unforgettable woman. Powerful, original, dynamic. One of one. One of my greatest inspirations,” Keys stated. “When we met, it was literally a spiritual experience for me. When she would say she loved my songs or sang them in her show, I literally would almost pass out from the sheer honor of her voice gracing music I had created. The songs she gave us made us stand up stronger and prouder. They made us speak up for ourselves. She empowered us. There’s a deep hole left in the musical landscape now, that she is gone, but what she has given us will live on forever. We get to be inspired by her forever, and now, I’m going to write more songs in her honor. I’m inspired. Thank you, to the queen. There are really no words. We love you forever.”

Because of artists today, the younger generations have been inspired to listen to her music, even here at Valencia. I asked one of our Osceola students, Amarilis Gonzalez, to give a brief background of Aretha Franklin. “A true queen with soul,” Gonzalez exclaimed. “Her [Aretha Franklin] music inspired me to be a strong and natural woman.” Gonzalez is also a fan of Alicia Keys, and because of this, Aretha Franklin’s legacy is passed on.

Aretha Franklin is no longer here physically, but she’s here spiritually and musically. All generations will know Aretha Franklin by her music, her sassiness and her independence. Aretha Franklin will truly be missed!