RENTON, Wash. -- Charles Smith says he’s flooded with the memories every time he listens to his Aretha Franklin’s music at home with his family in Renton.
"Very strong, very powerful, great with words. She could just blow the top off a church, you know? Just being around her was electrifying. It was Aretha Franklin. It was my aunt, but it was still Aretha Franklin,” says Charles.
Aretha Franklin, the undisputed "Queen of Soul" who sang with matchless style on such classics as "Think," ''I Say a Little Prayer" and her signature song, "Respect," and stood as a cultural icon around the globe, died from pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
Charles says he last saw his aunt 10 years ago in Los Angeles.
The news of her death Thursday morning has been so hard for his entire family, especially his mother, Carl Ellen, who he says is Aretha’s half-sister, living in Memphis.
Charles called his mother during our interview.
She says she wants people to “remember her legacy, remember how much she was committed to her fans and to the love of her work."