30 April 2008

Hail The Queen of Soul

Kemaren pas iseng-iseng download video dari YouTube menggunakan TubeTilla, gak sengaja menemukan video The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, menyanyikan lagu "Hero"punyanya Mariah Carey. Selama ini gue berpikir kalo siapapun yang menyanyikan lagu "Hero" pasti terpengaruh ama gaya nyanyinya si Mariah, karena ketika Mariah menyanyikan lagu ini, bisa dikatakan sudah hampir sempurna. Kemarin gue lihat si Brooke White nyanyi lagu ini di American Idol, kelihatan banget kalau dia gak bisa ngelepasin gaya Mariah di lagu cantik ini. Nah kemaren ketemu video ini dimana yang nyanyi ialah Aretha Franklin, emaknya para penyanyi masa kini (termasuk Mariah Carey yang sangat mengidolakan sang Lady Soul). Gue lagi berpikir apa mungkin, Aretha terpengaruh oleh gaya Mariah juga (karena Mariah adalah penulis lagu sekaligus penyanyi asli lagu ini. Jawabannya sama sekali tidak. Silahkan saja tonton video ini yang dibuat tahun 90-an dimana Ree hanya menggunakan sepersepuluh dari kemampuan nyanyinya yang luar biasa itu. Ree bisa tampil spektakuler dengan gayanya sendiri dan memberikan Soul baru kepada lagu ini. Inilah yang gue sebut sebagai 'genius artistry' dimana ada perbedaan besar antara penyanyi biasa dan luar biasa, karena seorang seniman asli bisa memberikan nafas baru ke dalam semua karyanya.



Aretha Franklin dikenal oleh kemampuannya menginterpretasikan lagu yang belum bisa ditandingi oleh siapapun. Kemampuan range suaranya yang mampu mencapai baik tinggi seorang penyanyi Opera atau rendah seorang penyanyi pria telah membuat dia mendapat reputasi sebagai salah seorang penyanyi terbaik yang masih hidup sekarang ini. Beberapa fakta tentang Aretha Franklin:
  • Memiliki 20 lagu teratas di chart R&B, belum terkalahkan oleh penyanyi wanita manapun.
  • Mendapatkan 20 Grammy Awards termasuk Grammy tahun 2008 ini lewat duetnya dengan Mary J Blide dalam "Never Gonna Break My Faith". Salah satu Grammy yang berhasil dia dapat ialah Lifetime Achievement Award dan Living Legend Award.
  • Dia adalah wanita pertama dalam sejarah yang berhasil dimasukan ke dalam Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Majalah musik ternama Rolling Stone menempatkan Aretha pada peringkat ke 9 dalam daftar 100 artis terhebat sepanjang masa. Posisi Aretha adalah posisi tertinggi penyanyi wanita dalam chart itu dimana peringkat kedua wanita diraih oleh Madonna di peringkat 36.
  • Wanita kulit hitam pertama yang berhasil tampil dalam cover majalah TIME karena hits Aretha di tahun 1967 telah membuat lagu itu menjadi lagu kebangsaan gerakan feminisme di Amerika sebelum akhirnya menjalar ke seluruh dunia
  • Doktor Honoris Causa dalam Musik dari University of Detroit, Berklee College of Music, dan University of Pennsylvania.
  • Penghargaan khusus dari Kennedy Center, Presiden Bill Clinton, dan Presiden George W Bush.
Aretha Franklin telah disebut sebagai pengaruh terbesar bagi pada biduanita kelas dunia masa kini, seperti oleh Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Joss Stone, dan termasuk juga penyanyi legendaris lain seperti Patti LaBelle dan almarhum Freddie Mercury.

Berikut kata vokalis Queen, almarhum Freddie Mercury tentang Aretha Franklin:
I love the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, above all other singers. She must have one of the best voices ever. She sings like a dream. I wish I could sing half as well as she does. It's so natural. "She puts her whole emotion into it. Each word she sings is full of meaning and expression. I could listen to it forever."

Komentar Jewel tentang Aretha Franklin:
"I think what makes Aretha's music resonate with every age is the fact that everybody has a soul, and Aretha touches it. She speaks from her gut, and you can't deny it. It's the great unifier: Whether you're black, white, young or old, it moves you and it stirs something in you.

I just want to thank you for moving so many people. You reached me, a little girl up in Homer, Alaska, and inspired me to do what I'm doing, so thank you."


Komentar Alicia Keys tentang Aretha Franklin:
"She made me feel, when I saw her, like I never wanted to stop singing, like I never wanted to stop playing, and like I never wanted to stop feeling. And that voice! What is it about that voice that just takes you and makes you soar?

Miss Aretha Franklin, I just want to say that you're such a blessing to this world. You've truly inspired people, me in particular. You've truly just made me realize that anything is possible, especially as a woman. If you're a strong woman, and you have something to say, you're going to be heard. And I hold onto that when I think about you."


Komentar Mary J Blige tentang Aretha Franklin:
"My mother loves Aretha Franklin. She played 'Do Right Woman' and was crying, and I was like, 'What's the matter with my mother?' I would listen to this voice and it would make me sad.

[Performing with Aretha on VH-1's Divas Live] was a highlight, that was an honor, that was a blessing. Because Aretha's musical legacy is something that none of us will ever be able to match. She opened doors so that people like me could have a job. So I was blown away, I was happy, I was humbled, I was everything. I just loved it."


Komentar Elton John tentang Aretha Franklin:
"Nobody sings like Aretha. Nobody has that kind of presence on stage. That voice, the piano playing. She's a fantastic piano player. So she influenced me a lot by her piano playing, and her gospel leanings as well, because I love that kind of music. How could you not be influenced by the sheer voice, the soul and the passion that came from it? She was a soul singer with a capital 'S' for soul. No one's got a bigger soul than Aretha.

Aretha, I kneel at your feet, I worship the ground that you walk on, you are the greatest singer, the greatest piano player, and you've given me so much joy, so much inspiration, I can't thank you enough. I wish I could be there in person to give you the biggest hug, but I am in Atlanta, and I'm sure the whole city sends you as much love as I do now."

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