Her royal majesty


In case you’re among the very few people who haven’t already seen it, here is Aretha Franklin serenading the annual Kennedy Centre Honors ceremony in Washington DC earlier this month. She’s there to sing “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman” to Carole King, who wrote the song with her then-husband, the lyricist Gerry Goffin, in 1967.

King was one of five honorees (the others were George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Cecily Tyson and Seiji Ozawa). She was also serenaded by James Taylor  with “Up on the Roof” and Janelle Monae with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “One Fine Day”. But, as you can see, Aretha blew the roof off the place with a performance that works on more levels than I can count.

To see her once again accompanying herself at the piano is simply wonderful. I think it was the late Jerry Wexler, the producer of her Atlantic sessions, who observed that the…

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