Chris Yandek, Aretha Franklin,

RIP Aretha Franklin: Looking Back at Meeting The Queen of Soul

On October 25th, 2014, in a ballroom at Miami Beach’s famous Fontainebleau Hotel, the 20th and final edition of The Blacks’ Annual Gala took place. The gala was a yearly charity event organized and hosted by the Social Mayor of Miami, Lea Black and her husband, nationally known attorney Roy Black.

Year after year, The Black’s Annual Gala was the must attend event in Miami social circles. Not only was it for a good cause and chock full of glitterati, but Lea Black made sure that each year, the entertainment was top shelf. The final gala was befittingly the pièce de résistance. None other than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, gave an intimate performance that enthralled the assembled.

This was truly a mind blowing evening. First, greatness introduced greatness, with Gloria Estefan introducing Aretha to the audience. The Queen of Soul’s performance rocketed off from there. Members of the audience stood but feet away as one of the greatest singers in history performed with power, style and grace.

After the evening’s festivities, a select few of us were fortunate enough to meet Aretha. You can see my photo with the Queen above.

The passing of Aretha Franklin has made us all reflect on the power and brilliance of this most talented and original performer. The world will truly miss the Queen of Soul. There will never be another quite like her.

Rest in Peace Aretha Franklin. Thank you for the wonderful memories.