West Michiganders Remember the “Queen of Soul”

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 19:03:44-04

The loss of the "Queen of Soul", Aretha Franklin, also being felt here in West Michigan.

Iconic, memorable, and inspiring are all words that West Michiganders used when remembering Aretha Franklin. Many of them shared their favorite songs with FOX17 and how Franklin's music impacted their lives.

Most of us have a favorite Aretha Franklin song, many of them sparking a set of emotions.

"Not only is it a great song but we can all use a little more respect in this day and age," says Chris Freeman, Aretha Franklin fan.

For many others, her songs spark a lot of memories.

" I went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, there was a jukebox in the student union and that was my favorite song in the jukebox. I played it all the time," says Erik Hellum, Aretha Franklin fan.

"And what does this song mean to you...Ex-husband," says Evanna Perkins, Aretha Franklin fan.

West Michiganders telling FOX17 that her music will forever leave a mark on this city and the world.

"It's just sad, it's iconic. Ya know, we've all heard her music and she's just a legend that's wonderful," says Connie Learman, Aretha Franklin fan.

April 13th, 2017 she performed at the DeVos Performance Hall. A performance that would be her last in Grand Rapids.

" It absolutely was a memorable experience I hope not only for the 24 hundred people there that were there to watch but I hope for here too because this is one of the last performances she ever had," says Richard MaCkeigan, DeVos Performance Hall.

Local musicians sharing how her music was more than just inspiring or memorable.

"The music world and the art world and the world in general just lost an icon of music with the lost and the passing of Aretha Franklin. We actually do some of her tunes and she has that soul, she has that energy that comes out in everything she does and everything she writes and it'll be hard to go back on stage and do those tunes now but we will," says Steve Hillger, West Mi. Jazz Musician.

Though her loss comes with pain her music will be celebrated for years to come.

"I mean hearing it even right now you've gotta play it in the car. You see the leading up to it, I mean I think everyone is praying and has prayers out there. So, seeing it on the news this morning we were in the office and it came across the TV I think everyone was sad but it's time to celebrate her life," says Joel Blanchard, Aretha Franklin fan.

The list of lives touched by the "Queen of Soul" is endless and right here in West Michigan, her legendary sound will live on.