The New Yorker pays tribute to Aretha Franklin

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The New Yorker, Aug 27, 2018.
The New Yorker, Aug 27, 2018. Credit: Condé Nast

The cover of the August 27 New Yorker, on sale Monday, pays tribute to Aretha Franklin. In a note about the issue, Françoise Mouly writes that a few hours after the soul legend passed away Thursday morning, artist Kadir Nelson sent in a sketch.

"I wanted to draw her in a choir," he said. "She was a preacher's daughter, and so much of what she gave us came from the church, even after she moved beyond gospel."

Mouly also directs readers' attention to three essays: "Aretha Franklin's Astonishing 'Dr. Feelgood,'" by Emily Lord, "Aretha Franklin Is As Immortal As Can Be," by Amanda Petrusich, and "Aretha Franklin: A Legacy in Music," by New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick.

In his piece, Remnick writes,

Aretha Franklin's voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life. ... Prayer, love, desire, joy, despair, rapture, feminism, Black Power—it is hard to think of a performer who provided a deeper, more profound reflection of her times. What's more, her gift was incomparable. Smokey Robinson, her friend and neighbor in Detroit, once said, "Aretha came out of this world, but she also came out of another, far-off magical world none of us really understood. ... She came from a distant musical planet where children are born with their gifts fully formed."

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