Aretha Franklin performed several times at NJPAC over the years. I took my son David to see her show on March 14, 2015. Dave is the only one of my kids who goes to concerts with me. He truly appreciates many of the same of legendary performers I do. I'm so thankful we had an opportunity to go.
In the last 5 years of her life Aretha Franklin was dealing with multiple health problems. When we got the tickets I wondered if she would be able to do the show. I think she really liked coming to New Jersey and NJPAC in particular. The venue was packed with fans of all ages. Our seats were near the back and up high. We had a nice view of the stage.
She stepped out on stage singing "I knew You Were Waiting for Me." Her voice was still strong. She sang so many of her great songs but needed to take several long breaks during the show. She seemed to be having a tough time but Aretha was not about to disappoint her fans. She ended the show with "Freeway of Love" and of course "Respect."
That night we saw a legendary singer who pushed herself to perform as her health was failing. In spite of everything her voice was sweet and strong. Aretha was in great spirits through the whole show.
One moment I'll always remember happened near the end of the show. She asked us to pray for the family of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Christina. Who was in a coma at the time. I didn't realize Aretha was a close friend of Whitney's mom Cissy Houston. I don't remember exactly what Aretha said about Bobbi Christina but it brought tears to my eyes.
I found a you tube video from that night at NJPAC.