What you should know about events that celebrate Aretha Franklin's life and musical heritage.

To use phrases common in the black church, her father made it very clear.

On Aretha Franklin's best-selling album "Amazing Grace," revered Rev. CL Franklin said, "If you want to know the truth, she has never left the church."

At that time, his words were meant to silence critics who frowned upon Aretha Franklin's decision to sing secular music.

But Rev. Franklin's prophetic words spoken during the recording in 1972 also explain why gospel music remained a constant source of comfort in Aretha Franklin's life, even when she was the queen of the soul.

And many of today's top gospel artists appreciate their inspiring style and their passion for music.

"I've sung their songs at concerts and talent shows all the time," said Vanessa Bell Armstrong, formerly known as "Little Aretha," when she grew up in Detroit. "I wanted to be Aretha until I realized there was only one Aretha Franklin, and I needed to find out how I could have them in me, but myself."

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Twinkie Clark of the famous Detroit Clark Sisters' gospel group said Franklin was "the greatest singer in the world."

"Me and my sisters have many riffs and run away from her, just as she did, we groaned and moaned the same way," Clark said. "The way she improvised and played ad libitum, played high notes, then pushed all the way down and hit low notes, we've heard all of this." Our mother (gospel music pioneer Mattie Moss Clark) has been teaching and training us, but Aretha was our greatest influence. "

Rev. Marvin Winans of the Winans Grammy-winning group said he appreciated Franklin's fire for the genre.

"Even her moans were heartfelt," said Winans, pastor of Perfeting Church on Detroit's east side. "She knew how to get that voice working, Aretha had a way of getting a lyric, singing from the beat and still being at the top, giving her everything and getting you to give it all."

He especially admired Franklin's appreciation for the ancient hymns of the Black Church.

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Deborah Smith Pollard, author of "When the church becomes your party: Contemporary Gospel Music, (Wayne State University Press, $ 26.99) and co-host of a Sunday Morning Gospel show MIX 92.3 FM, said it's a fitting tribute to Franklin's love of gospel Music that her best selling album is a gospel CD, "Amazing Grace", recorded with Rev. James Cleveland.

Franklin's continued love for gospel music was made clear by the fact that she sang herself during pop concerts. She offered an 11-minute version of the gospel classic "Precious Lord" during her last Detroit show in 2017.

Every year, Franklin hosts gospel concerts in New Bethel Baptist, which is located on Linwood Avenue, which was renamed in honor of her father. On Monday, the church will host a gospel concert that celebrates her life. It will be free to the public – as their gospel concerts have always been.

"People who start playing gospel often start to sing pop, and then they did that," Pollard said. "Aretha was one of those rare people who did both and very often in the same concert, whatever she sang, she had an audience for it, and often it was the same audience."

Gospel singer Vickie Winans said that she joked with Franklin about how she went smoothly from singing a secular song into a gospel number. 19659010] "Girl, you have to tell me if we're in church or in the bedroom," Vickie Winans said she would tell Franklin. "In a minute, we'll be on the Freeway of Love and the next minute, Jesus, O Jesus. "I would say," Wait a minute? Is Jesus on the highway? "She just laughed and said," Girl, I can not help myself.

Indeed, she could not help but sing gospels, those who knew her said.

"I do not care where she was when the ghost hit her" She would start serving in the song, "said Gloria Ridgeway, a background singer for Franklin, with her sisters in the movie" Blues Brothers 2000 " you sang. "We all grew up in the church so it was always a pleasure for us to fall right in and sing with it."

"That's really who she was, a gospel singer," Ridgeway said What Music Genre She Sang You could still feel and hear gospel music in it, because whatever she did, she did with heart and soul. "

Rev. El Branch, who served as pastor under Rev. C.L. Franklin recalled attending one of Aretha Franklin's recent concerts at the Detroit Fox Theater. He said that Aretha went directly from a secular song to the "Old Ship of Zion".

"It was as if their audience was at this moment their meeting," said Branch.

"The gospel was so deeply rooted in her" She could not help but go there, "said Branch, pastor of the third New Hope Baptist church on the northwest side of Detroit.

These roots went deep into the Franklin She started singing at New Bethel Baptist Church when she was just big enough to be seen in the pulpit, her first road trip was with her nationally known father whom she adored

Er often housed great gospel and secular singers in her house, including the gospel pioneers Mahalia Jackson, Clara Ward and Sam Cooke, who also began as gospel singers.

One of the nation's finest gospel singers and arrangers, the late Rev. James Cleveland as music minister in New Bethel and lived for several years in the house of Franklin Known as the king of the gospel, he is credited with teaching it to a young Aretha Franklin.

Eugene Rogers, Chordire kork and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said when Aretha Franklin sang the gospel, she had complete strength, confidence and voice control. She had a unique ability to keep a note in every area she sang, from very high to very low.

And she had some sort of gospel music to sing that let the listener know that her goal was not entertainment; "It was like channeling the Holy Ghost," he said.

Franklin's influence on gospel music will be eternal, he said.

"She will always be one of those." The best gospel artists of all time, "said Rogers." If a gospel artist joins in, they must study Aretha Franklin if they are serious about doing their homework. It is as if you could not be a classical artist without studying Bach and Beethoven. You can not call yourself a gospel artist if you have not studied Aretha Franklin.

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