Aretha Franklin aka The Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018), aka The Queen of Soul.

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and pianist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan where her father C. L. Franklin was minister. At age 18, she embarked on a secular career recording for Columbia Records. However, she achieved only modest success. Franklin found commercial success and acclaim after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", and "I Say a Little Prayer", propelled Franklin past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as "The Queen of Soul". 


She continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976) before experiencing problems with her record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who's Zoomin' Who? (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song "A Rose Is Still a Rose", later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of "Nessun dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who had cancelled after the show had already begun. In 2015, she paid tribute to singer/songwriter and honoree Carole King by singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors. 


Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in history. Franklin's other well-known hits include "Rock Steady", "Call Me", "Ain't No Way", "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", "Spanish Harlem", "Day Dreaming", "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", "Something He Can Feel", "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and she is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. 


Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first female performer to be inducted, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Franklin is listed in two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2008, she was ranked by Rolling Stone as the No. 1 greatest singer of all time. 

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

James Ingram (February 16, 1952 – January 29, 2019). R&B singer, songwriter and record producer.

James Ingram, the two-time Grammy Award-winner and legendary R&B vocalist known for hit songs "Just Once," "One Hundred Ways," “Baby, Come to Me,” “Yah Mo B There” and “I Don’t Have the Heart,” dead at the age of 66.  


Ingram received two Grammys over the course of his career, which began in 1973, and numerous other nominations. “One Hundred Ways,” released in 1981, won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. His duet with Michael McDonald on “Yah Mo B There,” one of his most famous hits, earned him a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1984.

“Baby, Come to Me” from 1982 became Ingram’s first chart-topper with a duet with Patti Austin. “I Don’t Have the Heart,” which marked one of his 14 career Grammy nominations, boosted him to the top of the charts again in 1990. 


As a songwriter, Ingram’s hits included “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” which he co-wrote with Jones, and which became a Top 10 single for Michael Jackson. 


Ingram began his career more than four decades ago, collaborating over the years with Quincy Jones, Anita Baker, Michael McDonald and Ray Charles. 

James Ingram

James Ingram

Legendary Trinidadian calypsonian ‘Mighty Shadow’ (4 October 1941 – 23 October 2018)

Winston "Mighty Shadow" Bailey, dead at 77 years. Shadow who had been ailing for some time, suffered a stroke last weekend and his family confirmed that he died in hospital in the early hours of this morning, days before he was set to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies for his contributions as a composer. 


Among his hits were “Bassman”, “Pay the Devil”, “Poverty is Hell”, “What’s Wrong With Me”, “Feeling the Feeling” and “Yuh Lookin’ For Horn”. 


Tributes have been pouring in since the news of his death broke. 


Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said Bailey had “revolutionized the calypso world with his haunting sound and unique delivery which he crafted and perfected in an impressive catalogue of work spanning several decades”. 


“He was an original in all his various musical creations. His music told us stories about ourselves through poignant social commentary which was often fused with wry humor. Over the years his contribution to the development of our local music earned him regional and international acclaim,” he added. 


Bailey was awarded the prestigious Hummingbird Silver Medal in 2003 for his contribution to music in Trinidad and Tobago, and also won the Road March title twice, as well as the Calypso Monarch. 


“We are honored to have witnessed the life of this great musician and to have experienced his outpourings of the best of our calypso culture. We are grateful for the music he gave us and proud of his legacy which will remain undiminished for all time,” Rowley added. 


Minister of Communications Stuart Young added that Bailey brought “something different” to the calypso/soca genre. 


“From the way he dressed and danced to the layered lyrics he sang. Shadow’s songs were in many ways a commentary on us as a people but also a rallying call for us to reflect and perhaps change those characteristics he felt didn’t work for us,” he said. 


“His contribution to the cultural landscape is remarkable and immeasurable. Trinidad and Tobago has lost a unique voice.” 


Mighty Shadow

Mighty Shadow

The West Indian American Labor Day Carnival 2018 attracts the usual 2 million revelers representing the Caribbean culture and colors with music, dance, costumes, food, flags, powder, oil, steel pan, iron and beautiful people. 


Eastern Parkway Brooklyn was the place to be on Labor Day September 3 . 2018 along with the other 2 million people to experience Carnival Caribbean styleee. From 11 am to 6 pm the parade of music and costumes was a peaceful day enjoyable for families and friends representing with flags from every Caribbean island and South America. 


​The 5-day festival begins at the Brooklyn Museum grounds from Thursday before Labor Day through the weekend and culminates in a spectacular New York Carnival Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York.  much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.