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Baltimore reacts to passing of music icon, Aretha Franklin

Franklin died at 76 from pancreatic cancer
Posted at 11:42 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 23:44:11-04

She sang for presidents, popes and people just like you and me.  In Baltimore, the news of the Queen of Soul's passing hit hard.

WMAR 2 News talked to people touched by the legacy of excellence and talent Aretha Franklin leaves behind.

Her career spanned six decades.  She had close to 100 hits on Billboard's R&B chart.  Nori Moss, an on air personality at Baltimore's 95.9 Magic FM said music will never be the same.

"She brought power.  She brought Black Power.  She brought beauty.  She brought excellence she brought a standard."

A standard that singers who came after her would try to emulate.  Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

"It's funny because people will say she's a diva but she was respected," said Moss.

Ernest Shaw, a West Baltimore artist, left a meeting when he heard of her passing.

"I’m very moved by her work.  She’s made a very significant contribution and I wanted to do something to commemorate the work that she’s dedicated to the community," Shaw said.

In just 2.5 hours, Shaw created this mural in Graffiti Alley, saying her impact is limitless.

"Aretha Franklin has made a tremendous contribution to not only music but to society at large," Shaw said.

Franklin clearly made a mark around the world, but at Baltimore's Bon Secours Hospital, her star power, has helped so many.

"It helped us raise money for a lot of community outreach type programs, housing, workforce development, early childhood development," Executive Director of Housing & Community Development, George Kleb, told WMAR 2 News.

Franklin performed at a benefit concert for the hospital back in 2008 but even a decade later, her presence is still felt.

"She was regal, she was in charge and she put on a tremendous performance and I don’t think anybody left wanting for anything," said Kleb.

From Grammys to Presidential recognition, the Queen of Soul is sure to remain in the hearts of many forever.