How New Orleans celebrates the life of Aretha Franklin

New Orleans celebrated the life of Auntie Aretha as only we can.

by Kiri Walton
August 17, 2018

When the news broke that the Queen of Soul had moved on from this life broke, we knew there would be grieving. We were also pretty sure that New Orleans wouldn’t let Auntie Aretha join Prince, Whitney and others without an essential New Orleans send-off– a second-line parade.

Sure enough, on Thursday around 8 p.m., the second-line parade began in Treme along Claiborne Avenue and included musicians and culture-bearers from a variety of New Orleans brass bands and from the Treme Sidewalk Steppers. Former The Voice contestant, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, helped lead the parade and sang “I’ll Fly Away.” The Advocate’s Keith Spera estimated that there about 300 in the crowd, and that the musicians played for about 45 minutes straight.

Check out Boyd-Cannon’s Facebook Live footage as she and others second-lined down Claiborne Avenue.

And these clips from throughout the evening from Michael Tisserand:

Others are finding other ways to remember the musical legend whose unparalleled vocals evoked warm memories and feelings of empowerment. Amanda Loftis dipped to a bounce remix of Aretha’s “It Hurts Like Hell” from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack in remembrance of the Queen.

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