Record giant Clive Davis remembered Aretha Franklin as a woman with a thirst for knowledge, as a “true Renaissance woman” — and one with a streak of perfectionism.
Davis, who produced Franklin’s music for decades, including such later hits as “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” said once Franklin committed to a project, she’d go into “Aretha mode,” privately rehearsing and preparing so intensely that it was rare for her to need more than a few takes in the studio.
Said Davis: “Aretha’s voice will be influencing others, literally, for centuries to come.”
Davis recalled the time Franklin surprised him when he was getting a lifetime achievement award in New York by showing up onstage in a tutu.
“There was the Queen of Soul, accompanied by members of the City Center Ballet Company, she doing well-rehearsed pirouettes and dancing with most impressive agility and dignity. It was wonderful.”