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Dozens of Metro Detroit musicians inspired by Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin leaves massive impact on music world

Aretha Franklin (WDIV)

DETROIT – Aretha Franklin's impact on music is sure to be felt for generations to come, and there's proof all around Metro Detroit.

Dozens of musicians said Franklin inspired them. Her legacy is in good hands with the next generation.

It's been less than a week since Franklin passed away, and the outpouring of support continues at the Fillmore Detroit from people who knew her.

"She was a great singer," Judge Craig Strong said. "She took after her father in the church. She had excellent support, excellent role models."

Strong met Franklin's father before developing a relationship with her that lasted a lifetime. She was the Queen of Soul, but she never lost her sense of humor.

When Strong unearthed an Ebony magazine from 1974 and showed it to Franklin, she said, "Who is that fine chick?" upon seeing herself on the front.

Strong said he knew Franklin as fiercely spiritual and religious. She always wanted to help others.

Singer Angela Davis' memory is just a year old, but she remembers it like it was yesterday.

"My adrenaline was rushing and I couldn't believe what I was about to do," Davis said.

Davis sang in front of her idol at a 2017 music festival. The moment felt big even at the time, considering Franklin's role in the evolution of music.

"She opened the doors for artists I look up to today, like Beyonce and Alicia Keys," Davis said. "Whitney Houston, even. Those artists definitely looked up to her."

Detroiters feel a sense of ownership over Franklin, and now that she's gone, residents will continue to keep her memory alive.

"We were honored to have her here," Strong said. "She was loyal to us and we were loyal to her."

The celebration for life for Franklin is set for next week. It will start with a two-day visitation Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple.