Cape Fear looks back at Aretha Franklin

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Iconic singer and legend, Aretha Franklin, spent years changing the world with her music. With her death, many in the Cape Fear are looking back.

Coast 97.3’s Brandon “Bigg B” Hickman devoted a whole hour to her best hits, to honor her legacy.

“She’s affected like every R&B star. Like we said before, there is no Anita without Aretha. There’s no Beyonce without Aretha. There’s no Mariah Carey. And so on and so forth without her paving the way,” Hickman said.

He says not only did she leave a mark on the music industry, but her songs were a statement for social justice, when they first came out and even today.

“Those songs really meant something. During that time, we were going through some major issues in our area and it brings us back to that and it was a good time, where we were proud and still proud of where we came from and how proud we were of Aretha doing her thing and making us look great,” Hickman.

Her music lived on through the years.

“Her music just transcend from generation to generation. Many artists today mimic her style, mimic her way of singing and so she’s touched a lot of people’s lives,” Galilee Missionary Baptist Church pastor John Veasey said.

While he shares a birthday with the late singer, he says his congregation and her share a love for God.

“We follow not only Aretha Franklin in R&B and gospel but also her dedication within the music itself,” Veasey said.

As the curtain falls on her life, her legacy will live on in the Cape Fear. Both Veasey and Hickman say their favorite song from her is “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”.

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