While the passing of Aretha Franklin sent shockwaves throughout the world, many were able to celebrate the life of the “Queen Of Soul.” One of those was Urban One founder Ms. Cathy Hughes. Ms. Hughes called into the Donnie Simpson Show to talk about her friendship with Franklin which she explains the two bonded over music, politics, and food.
Ms. Hughes explained to Donnie and Tony Perkins that she use to have friendly political debates with the singer. Astute in the world of politics, Franklin was a talk radio junkie and use to listen to Hughes and Dick Gregory during their WOL-AM morning show days and use to correct them on statistics. We also learn a bit more about one of Franklin’s role in the Civil Rights and Feminist movements and how Aretha invested her art, time and money into them.
Ms. Hughes tells the audience that Franklin demanded the very best from everyone. Aretha performance of “Nessun Dorma” at the 1998 Grammy Awards was extraordinary because she had just learned the song and was asked to perform the selection 30 minutes before stage time. Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti was too sick to go on stage and Aretha saved the day. Franklin’s performance is considered one of the best in the show’s history.
Ms. Hughes also goes into Franklin’s role in the emergence of Barack Obama, and her loyalty to her hometown, Detroit, Michigan.
Hughes will miss her conversations with Franklin. Gave so much joy to the world and God got him a new lead vocalist.