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‘Aretha Franklin at the Apollo' benefits Centerstage Theatre
Aretha Louise Franklin came from humble roots. Born in a two-room house in Memphis, Tenn., she was the fifth of six children.
By age 4, her family had moved twice, first to Buffalo and then Detroit, where her parents separated. Franklin stayed in Detroit with her father, but due to his job as a minister, she was mainly raised by her grandmother. When Franklin was 10, her mother died.
Despite life’s challenges, Franklin found her calling at an early age. She sang in her father’s church and learned to play the piano by ear.
Largely self-taught, she was regarded as a child prodigy. By age 14, she recorded some of her earliest tracks at the church despite the fact that she couldn’t read music — and still can’t.
At age 19, her first album was released, and Franklin’s career took off. Though not a formally trained musician, she took a firm hand in creating her own sound.
Her guiding principle with studio producers, she once explained, was “if you’re here to record me, then let’s record me — and not you.”
This faith in her musical talent was well placed. Since 1961, Aretha Franklin has had a total of 45 top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1968, she was awarded her first Grammy, which would be followed by 19 more. She is adept at gospel, jazz, blues and rock, and practically invented R&B. During her career, she was crowned “The Queen of Soul.”
On Jan. 20, 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
On Saturday, April 16, Centerstage Theatre will present “Aretha Franklin at the Apollo.” The popular and gifted performer Ms. Stacie Calkins will sing a full range of Aretha Franklin’s songs.
She will be accompanied by three backup singers, three musicians on horns and a full rhythm section, all under the direction of David Duval.
Check it out
Tickets for this Centerstage fundraiser are $35 and the doors open at 6 p.m. with appetizers and auctions (live and silent). Show starts at 7 p.m. Visit www.centerstagetheatre.com or call (253) 661-1444 for more information.