Locals in the music industry remember Aretha Franklin, dead at 76

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Aretha Franklin crowned the Queen of Soul, passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

For more than 50 years Franklin shared her gift with the world.

From a Baptist church in Detroit to the Capitol steps in D.C…she even made a few stops in between that impacted a couple locals in the music industry.

Aretha Louis Franklin, born in Memphis, Tennessee but raised in Detroit, Michigan, which she called home until her passing.

Program Director at 95.5 and 104.7 Jerold “Action” Jackson had a few run-ins with the queen during his tenure in Detroit.

“When she was in Detroit she was in her element so she went to the grocery store like a regular person but she had that aura, and it was just devastating to hear that she passed away,” Jackson says.

Jackson says one of his most memorable moments with the queen was in 1998 when she debuted her album “A Rose is Still a Rose.”

“And we met at a restaurant called Sweet Georgia Brown’s and she came in she greeted everybody, she took pictures with everybody. Her company at the time was like, ‘Okay, you don’t have to take all these pictures’. She said ‘No, all these people came from all these places, I want to meet everybody. I want to touch everybody. We’re going to do this today!'” Jackson recalls.

She was a civil rights activist and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Grammy-nominated zydeco musician Anthony Dupsie Jr. of Rockin Dupsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters opened up for Aretha 12 years ago at the House of Blues in Atlanta.

“She came up there with her big old mink, her shawl, sat down at the piano and you think a freight train got power? She’s got power brother! She had pipes, man. I’ll tell you what, everybody was on the tips of their feet,” he says.

Dupsie says although he was a performer that night, he became a fan when Aretha belted some of her greatest hits on stage.

“To hear it live, I mean, we performed with a lot of major international acts around the world. But, to actually meet the queen, was awesome!

In Franklin’s passing her family released a statement.

It reads in part:

“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. But, on Sunday at 5 pm Magic 104.7 will air a special tribute to the Queen.

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