Letitia George stars in Respect to Aretha, a heartfelt and uplifting dedication to the Queen of Soul presented by Sweeney Entertainments.
Aretha Franklin’s extraordinary career as a singer and songwriter spanned over sixty years. She rose from church gospel singer to international stardom at a young age and is widely accepted as the finest female soul singer of our time.
Life-long Aretha Franklin fan and power-house vocalist, Letitia George, rose to the spotlight after featuring on series 4 of BBC 1’s The Voice UK, where she became a member of Team Ricky and soared her way through to the knockout rounds. She also presents the radio show ‘The C Word’ on BBC Radio Coventry every Monday evening.
Letitia has also gone on to forge an enviable reputation as one of the most passionate and hardworking soul singers around. Very few singers could ever do justice to the Aretha Franklin songbook…but Letitia George manages to capture the very spirit.
We spoke to Letitia to find out more about this extraordinary and poignant show…
When did you first get involved with Respect to Aretha?
The show has been completely built up from scratch. It’s new and fresh and we created it ourselves. We’re very proud. Respect to Aretha was born in October 2018.
Who do you perform as in the show?
I perform as myself. My tribute to Aretha is very much that. Nobody can do Aretha like she could. Some part of me thinks I’m crazy to try but I just want people to come to the show and feel like they leave with a little part of her. Although I perform each song as Aretha, I’m not trying to be Aretha Franklin. I just want to do her proud.
What preparation is involved in getting yourself ready to perform?
There’s so much involved in building a show like this. Firstly, I have had to train myself vocally. Aretha had a very big range, and although I do as well, I have had to work on extending the top end of my voice. I’m not just doing a tribute to any old star – this is the queen of soul and I want to get it right. It’s pressure but its going to be worth it.
In terms of putting on the show, I want it to be so aesthetically pleasing to people. I don’t want it to be the band and myself just singing through the songs. We want to put on a show and really give the audience something to shout about. Getting the audience involved is very important to me!
What is your favourite song that you perform?
Natural woman is my all-time favourite Aretha song. It just touches my soul.
Tell us a little more about the show members and how you got together.
We are a seven-piece band. I’ve been performing with the musicians for many years now and I couldn’t think of any other group of people I would rather do this with. They’re my musical family.
What can the audience expect from attending one of your shows?
If you’re coming to the show expecting to see someone who looks, sounds and acts like Aretha Franklin, you’re not going find it. In fact, you won’t find that anywhere. But if you want to come to a show that celebrates the life of Aretha and helps you get a little taste of the love and passion she had for music, then look no further. We want to tell you a story, share with you as fans ourselves, and indulge in who is most simply, one of the greatest artists to ever walk this earth. If you’re looking for some real honest heart and soul performances to pay respect to a Queen then Respect to Aretha is the show for you.
What do you enjoy most about the performances?
The music. That’s what we’re here for right? The greatest thing about performing is singing a song and people singing it back to you. In the words of Dave Grohl “You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back to you for 85,000 different reasons.” Now that is one of the best things about each and every performance.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There are so many highlights in my career that I couldn’t possibly name just one! But, every opportunity I am given is a blessing and it’s a gift that I can keep for life.
Why do you think now is the right time to be touring this show?
The thing is, with the passing of Aretha, when really is the time? But one thing I know, or at least hope, is that by going on tour next year we can bring comfort to each and every fan of Aretha Franklin and together we can show our love for a woman who made music that will forever live on. R.I.P QUEEN ARETHA FRANKLIN.
Join Letitia and her fabulous band for an evening that fully captures the great music of Aretha Franklin! Enjoy massive hits including A Natural Woman, Say A Little Prayer, Chain Of Fools, Until You Come Back To Me, Think, I Never Love A Man, and of course Respect! Respect to Aretha comes to the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch on 4 March. To book tickets call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk
WIN! WIN! WIN!
We have a pair of tickets to see Letitia and her band perform Respect to Aretha at the Queens Theatre on 3 March 2019. For your chance of winning, simply send your name and contact details by email, along with subject header ‘Respect to Aretha’ to: [email protected] or by post to the usual Enquirer address. Closing date 28 January 2019.