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Let Aretha Ring

Stuart Bailie | 09:28 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I don't know where Aretha Franklin got her hat for Obama's inauguration, but hopefully she kept the receipt. Otherwise she was a perfect complement to the day. Aretha was an iconic link between the Luther King generation and the new style. She had given the word "respect" so many levels of meaning in an era when these things were critical. And while her rendition of 'My Country Tis Of Thee' was technically not the best, it carried the authority of a legend.

So many singers try to sing gospel but Aretha is gospel. You're not quite sure where she will take the song, but you know it will be guided directly by her soul. She doesn't waste time on the mannerisms and the absurdly contrived vibrato. We can leave that to Maria and the fame school warblers. Aretha gave Washington another flavour of belief. She sang like deliverance was coming. Awesome.



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