Life-long Aretha Franklin fan and power-house vocalist Letitia George is promising a heartfelt and uplifting tribute to the Queen of Soul.
She brings her new show Respect to Aretha to Bognor’s Regis Centre Friday, March 15.
Aretha Franklin’s extraordinary career as a singer and songwriter spanned more than 60 years.
She rose from church gospel singer to international stardom at a young age.
Massive hits including A Natural Woman, Say A Little Prayer, Chain Of Fools, Until You Come Back To Me, Think and I Never Love A Man.
Letitia is now offering her own tribute to that legacy.
“My dad was a musician, and years back when I was just a little girl, I just remember listening to Aretha Franklin. We always listened to the older music.
“We never really listened to what was in the charts at the time.
“And I just heard her voice and I thought ‘Wow!’
“I just loved the intensity and the soul within that voice, within that sound. You couldn’t ignore it. You couldn’t hear Aretha Franklin and just walk on by. She was just like no one else that I had ever heard in my life. She was just phenomenal.
“It was the passion that she had. She was passionate about everything that she sang.
“You can feel it in every song, and my feeling is that she is telling a story. It just feels that way.
“You listen to her music and it is like she is telling a story directly to you.
“I have been singing all my life. I started singing when I was about four.
“I was one of those children that you see on TV that are yee-high to a grasshopper and yet they open their mouths and the voice of a 40-year-old comes out.
“I would open my mouth – and I just wouldn’t know where it came from. I just sang – and I used to listen to lot of the great soul divas. I would be listening to them at home because they were just so good, these great artists, especially Aretha Franklin.
“I am a ballad singer. There is nothing I enjoy more than singing a good ballad, and I just think Aretha Franklin does every ballad to a tee. She can do the soft and the light and the sweet and she can to the powerful and the big and the bold.
“And she makes it all sound so effortless. You listen to it and you enjoy it – and then as a singer you think ‘Wow! How on earth did she manage that!’
“I always said that if I ever did a tribute show, it would be to Aretha Franklin, but not in any sense am I thinking that I am actually Aretha Franklin. She was the queen, she always was the queen, she always will be the queen.
“Not for a second am I thinking that I am her. I just want to pay tribute to her legacy as an artist. I want people to hear the passion that she had.”
Letitia has researched Aretha Franklin’s life and will draw on her research for the show, though not in any dry factual kind of way.
“There will be anecdotes and stories.
“I want to be able to talk about her like she was one of my friends. It is not just rambling lines about her life and her dates. I want ‘Guess what!’ as if she was talking herself.
“I want to create the vibe where we are a group of friends and we are just talking together, where people in the audience feel really comfortable and enjoy it and come away feeling like they have just had a coffee with friends.”
Tickets from the Regis Centre on alexandratheatre.co.uk.
Also coming up are the venue are: 9 to 5 The Musical, March 22 and 23; Colours of Springtime, March 24; Melody Times, March 31; 60 Minutes of Classical, April 5; Mark Steel – Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright, April 12; Jekyll and Hyde, April 25-27; This Is The Moment, April 28; and Sentimental Journey, April 30.