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Legend Aretha Franklin Graced Ravinia Stage September 3rd

Courtesy of Ravinia

HIGHLAND PARK, IL - A legend graced the Ravinia stage Sunday, September 3rd, 2017.  And Aretha Franklin was introduced as such.  The announcement to the audience that they were about to be graced with the presence of the first female who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and winner of 19 Grammys, Franklin came on stage at 7:30 with her 20-piece orchestra, not including the conductor, but including bongos, clarinet and flute.

Everybody jumped to their feet at the first song, "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me."
She gave a friendly greeting saying "Hi Chicago, hands together.  Let's have a good time tonight."  Franklin had long silky hair and wore a white sequined dress with a white blazer, with pink tones in it.

Franklin told the audience into the second song that she was going to perform a song from her Columbia Record days, back in the days of Hoagy Carmichael.

She then performed a song written by Stevie Wonder, which she introduced as one of her favorites, "Until You Come Back to Me."

The legendary singer paid the audience a compliment saying 'What a great audience.  I wanna wrap you up and take you home with me.'

It was apparent she wanted to make sure that everyone heard what they came to hear...because she asked.  And her hits were there... including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Chain of Fools," "Freeway of Love" and "Respect."

She also did an amazing job on the Adele cover "Rolling in the Deep,"  which in my humble opinion if I didn't know any better, it could have passed as one of her own songs.
At one point she played a Steinway and Sons piano and it appeared as if she was gifted with long piano hands and fingers.

The later part of the show Franklin introduce Jesse Jackson, who was in the audience, saying he is one of the great men of our time.  She expressed similar sentiment about several members of her band as she introduced them.

It was easy to see that she thought highly of the people around her because several of the musicians and singers she introduced, she said were the greatest of our time.

Sharon Jackson is the local host of "All Things Considered" and a reporter for Lakeshore Public Radio. She has been with 89.1 FM since its launch in 2009. Sharon is also a radio DJ in Chicago, and has been since 2004. In her previous job at Metro Networks/Westwood One, she was heard on am 890 WLS, WGN radio 720 am and am 560 WIND. She has also delivered news and traffic reports on radio stations all over Chicago and the suburbs including 95.9 The River, 98.3 WCCQ and Star 96.7.
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