Honoring The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin

Posted August 15th, 2011 at 4:59 pm (UTC+0)
9 comments

President Clinton prepares to kiss singer Aretha Franklin after awarding her with a National Medal of Arts during a ceremony in Washington, Sept. 29, 1999

President Clinton prepares to kiss singer Aretha Franklin after awarding her with a National Medal of Arts during a ceremony in Washington, Sept. 29, 1999 (AP)

Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will honor America’s Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, at a gala concert on September 12 to mark the 25th anniversary of the institute’s founding. Founded in 1986, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz bears the name of jazz icon Thelonious Monk, who died in 1982 at the age of 64. Its mission is to identify and train a new generation of jazz musicians.

I first profiled the 21-time Grammy Winner, Aretha Franklin, on VOA’s Jazz Club USA in 1992 after she sang “Someday We’ll All Be Free” on the Malcolm X soundtrack, and in 1993 when the celebrated singer performed at the inauguration ceremony of President Bill Clinton. Listen to the “Queen of Soul.” Songs from 1998 profile of her follow Arabic presentation:

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Franklin who first charted in 1961 has a 55-year-long career, during which she recorded more than 40 studio albums (17 of them Gold), 131 singles, 44 compilation albums, four live albums and at least one soundtrack.

Jazz greats Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, singers Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dianne Reeves will perform during the September 12  Kennedy Center concert. I’m sure there will be a lot of pressure on Aretha to sing at the gala.  Former secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, as well as music icon Quincy Jones will chair the gala.

For more on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America

Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site, VOAnews.com.

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  3. [...] legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the [...]

  4. [...] legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the [...]

  5. [...] legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the [...]

  6. [...] legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the [...]

  7. [...] legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the [...]

  8. [...] My Own Tears’ in a way that someway it would pass – which is impossible – the way Aretha Franklin sang it,” he responded. “And there’s no way that I’ll ever do it.” If [...]

  9. [...] in My Own Tears’ in a approach that somehow it would pass – that is unfit – a approach Aretha Franklin sang it,” he responded. “And there’s no approach that I’ll ever do it.” If we could sing [...]

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VOA’s music bloggers bring you info about all kinds of music. Katherine Cole will keep you up-to-date on the world of Bluegrass and Americana music while Ray McDonald rocks the Pop charts and artists. Diaa Bekheet  jams with you on Jazz.  Visit us often. Your comments are welcome.

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