It may be some sort of cosmic sign — or maybe just cruel irony — that only a few nights after a video clip of Aretha Franklin performing a rousing rendition of Carole King's "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman" on CBS' The Kennedy Center Honors broadcast went viral, Aretha's closest artistic rival in the mid-1970s, Natalie Cole, has left this mortal sphere. And on New Year's, no less.
In the late '60s and early '70s, Aretha was the heavyweight champion of soul music: She undisputedly set the bar so high for artistic achievement that she won the Best R&B Female Vocal Grammy award for eight consecutive years. Despite a bevy of worthwhile contenders to the throne bearing first names...
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