For one special night, the spirit of the Queen of Soul will grace the stage again in Savannah.
The Aretha Franklin Tribute will feature the cherished songs of the R&B singing sensation performed by three gifted singers on Friday, March 20, at the Good Times Jazz Bar & Restaurant.
The tribute will include two sets, one at 7:30 p.m. and another at 10 p.m., featuring the singing talents of Laiken Williams, Chassity Rae and Gina Rene.
The live jazz experience will feature renditions of Franklin’s biggest hits, paying tribute to the longtime singer and still a major influence on decades of performers, said bar owners Stephen and Danielle Moore.
Born in 1942, Franklin began singing as a child in her father’s Baptist church in their home of Detroit, Mich. It was there she learned the nuances of gospel singing and developed her signature booming voice and heartfelt delivery.
By the age of 18, Franklin was signed as a recording artist for Columbia Records before later moving to Atlantic Records where she found national acclaim with a string of R&B hits throughout the 1960s including “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
As the decade came to a close, Franklin was crowned the “Queen of Soul,” creating a lasting impact on the national music scene which would continue for decades until her death in 2018.
The Aretha Franklin Tribute promises to be an evening of love and respect for the singer’s cherished catalog of hits, which have cemented themselves in popular culture through music, movies and television.
The night’s performers owe much to Franklin’s advancement through the years as a female singing powerhouse, breaking glass ceilings and paving the way for many talented R&B singers since.
Headliner Laiken Williams began making a name for herself in 2011 on the Savannah music scene, owing to her powerful vocals and commanding stage presence. Her talent was recognized in 2015 when she was awarded Musician of the Year through SONATA (Sponsors of New and Talented Artists).
Singer Gina Rene cut her teeth growing up and performing in San Francisco, performing with groups in a range of musical styles including R&B, Hip-hop, Soul and Jazz. Her nickname “Miss Stylistic” speaks to her varied talent as a singer from everything to funky soul to the torch songs and ballads of traditional Jazz.
Chassity Rae rounds out the tribute’s vocalists; a native of Beaufort, she has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz studies and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy. Rae currently resides in Atlanta, where she serves as a music therapist. She can regularly be seen performing with her group, the Emerald Empire Band.
Though Aretha Franklin left big shoes to fill for any performer, the Aretha Franklin Tribute hopes to do the Queen of Soul justice with inspired renditions of her beloved songs.
For longtime fans of Franklin’s catalog or casual listeners, the Aretha Franklin Tribute will be a night full of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the acclaimed songstress.
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