As a young child growing up in the inner city, listening to R&B music was a staple in my household. My mother kept a collections of records in a crate, alphabetized I might add, stretching from the front door to the end of the hallway. While my siblings and I were not permitted to play with mothers prized possessions, we were however given the chance to listen as she played her favorite musical classics. It was something about this music that when played would cause the whole block to stop and rejoice. My mother wanted everybody to embrace in the soulful sounds of Marvin Gaye, The O’Jays, Patti Labelle and a plethora of others. There were many ballads I learned to sing as I listen sonically but later on I began to appreciate the lyrics. Of all the artists I was exposed to me through my mother’s weekly jam sessions, I gravitated to the lovely voice and soulful spike of Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin was an international diva who took me on a journey with her music without me having to leave my living room. I can remember reading about her in magazines, posters and on the back of album covers. Like many great individuals, she fought the good fight and lived her life to the fullest. She left a legacy of great hits to to be treasured for decades and beyond. While her music filled our hearts, her lyrics fed our soul, Rest In Paradise Queen Aretha.