To Aretha Franklin, singer, songwriter, musician. From Suzanne Smith.


Dear Aretha Franklin, I’ve been meaning to write to you for at least fifteen years. Just to say thank you. It’s hard to explain how important your music has been to me. I get emotional thinking about it – but it’s a happy, buzzy, teary, full emotional. It’s something to do with how you fill space with your voice. You fill the space but travel within it whilst you’re there. The space is yours. It’s safe and it’s exciting and it somehow warms my lungs as I think about it. When all the famous people started dying last year I began to worry about you. I wanted to put you on a preemptive life support just to make me happy. But that wouldn’t be fair. Or achievable. So you must carry on as you are. I have never had such strong feelings for a stranger. I bet you get this all the time and I hope you do. You made a very miserable teenager in a British village that bit less miserable and I can’t thank you enough. On behalf of my teenage self, from my grown-up self, thank you. Suzanne

About Aretha Franklin

singer, songwriter, musician. Born 1942. More information about Aretha Franklin.

Received March 5, 2017.
Published May 4, 2017.