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 Billy "Hollywood" Groves

Tribute To Aretha Franklin

By Billy “Hollywood” Groves CEO Groves Standard News Crockett, Texas

     America and the world lost a great leader with the recent passing away of Aretha Franklin. Aretha’s talented singing took her legacy around the world and it was loved and appreciated by people who didn’t even speak English. Aretha connected the dots of race relations together positively everywhere she performed or wherever her music was heard. I can say without reservation, we have had many great entertainers and performers from America who have made a positive impact on the world, but I truly believe Aretha Franklin along with Muhammad Ali have been historically the most loved and respected Americans ever.
When you have the skills and ability to bring people together who really don’t like each other and don’t have much in common, then you know you are not a normal or average person and the rest of the world knows that as well. When

Aretha Franklin came on the stage, everybody started to watch and pay attention to her singing and performing.  Wherever her music was heard, her popularity grew and people reacted. She seriously helped race relations in America in those areas where racism was out of control. Remember, Aretha was raised in the church by her parents, her father Rev. C.L. Franklin allowed her to sing to America. The church people of America embraced her music regardless of their religious backgrounds or their racial backgrounds. Recognized that when they heard her music, it was something special that you just didn’t hear every day and they fully embraced her and her music. Radio stations across America played her music and gained instance recognition and respect from their listenership. Even now, when you hear the modern day singers sing, especially the really popular ones and compare their singing to Aretha’s singing, you can clearly distinguish the dominance in her voice and style over the current singers. Actually a lot of our modern day singers are using some forms of her singing style, whether they know it or not.  Although Aretha Franklin wasn’t a “political” person seeking office through election; She was a “political power” who could have easily won any election, possibly even the President of America if she had decided to do so.  One can only imagine that it would have been a great time in America if Aretha Franklin could have run for president with Opra Winfrey as her vice president. I know that this is just a thought that can’t happen, but Aretha and Opra really could have made America Great!
Since Aretha’s death I have heard countless numbers of people, including celebrities from America and all over the world speak progressively about Aretha and her many accomplishments. As a longtime journalist, I have never heard a “superstar’s” life being discussed from a positive standpoint and without negative things being said about them. Well, Aretha Franklin was a rare, exceptionably gifted African American Superstar, entertainer and singer, who made our world better during her lifetime. God shared Aretha Franklin with the world and we were blessed to have had her for the time that she was here. She will forever be remembered as one who gave the people of the world “RESPECT”.

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