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Jessica Austin
Compiled by Erica Wright

The Queen of Soul passed last week leaving memories for many that will last a lifetime. We asked area residents, What legacy does Aretha Franklin leave?

Taylor Weller

Taylor Weller: “She left a huge legacy as far as the music scene goes because she was just awesome. She was very impactful to rise up and have a voice and also be strong and encouraged [women] to take care of themselves and go after their dreams. She truly will be missed.”

Jessica Austin

Jessica Austin: “I loved her attitude. She, I feel coined the term ‘diva’ and to me it doesn’t have to be mean or rude, but more of a business mindset like ‘I know what I want and I want to effectively get the job done’ and I think that’s part of the legacy. Yes, she had a phenomenal voice and all of these amazing accomplishments, but I loved that she let other women know it is ok to be a diva and it doesn’t have to have a negative connotation.”

Robert Stiff

Robert Stiff: “She was a great singer. Her voice was unmatched, she had range, she had everything and she was a wonderful person that you didn’t hear negative things about, it was always on the positive side . . . I don’t think anybody else has that range or ability that she had and that’s her legacy. Her talent was God-given.”

Jessie Towey

Jessie Towey: “Without a doubt, I think the legacy she leaves behind is respect. She had respect for everyone no matter what you looked like, who you loved or whatever, she was a kind person and she had respect for everyone but she also demanded respect too. Aside from her music, I think she was very instrumental in women’s empowerment and getting that respect for them. She was a phenomenal person, there will never be another like her.”