The Queen of Soul had been ill for quite a while, and I don't feel particularly well-qualified to wax poetic on her staggering value to the musical universe other than to say that it was profound. Goddamn, it was profound.
So I'll let Billy Preston tell you better than maybe anyone ever:
"I don't care what they say about Aretha. She can be hiding out in her house in Detroit for years. She can go decades without taking a plane or flying off to Europe. She can cancel half her gigs and infuriate every producer and promoter in the country. She can sing all kinds of jive-ass songs that are beneath her. She can go into her diva act and turn off the world. But on any given night, when that lady sits down at the piano and gets her body and soul all over some righteous song, she’ll scare the shit out of you. And you’ll know—you’ll swear—that she’s still the best fuckin’ singer this fucked-up country has ever produced.”
Here are a few that you may have forgotten.