Aretha Franklin’s ‘Religion’ Gets a Black Lives Matter-Themed Music Video – Variety

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A brand new music video for a recent remix of an Aretha Franklin monitor connects the civil rights motion she supported within the 1960s with the present Black Lives Matter protests that the Queen of Soul didn’t fairly dwell to see.

The video was launched Friday evening to dovetail with Juneteenth, as was the monitor itself, which got here out earlier within the day. The 14-year-old music, “By no means Gonna Break My Religion,” was initially launched as a duet with Mary J. Blige, however the brand new model lets Franklin carry the vocal load for everything of the trendy religious.

The music video juxtaposes information footage from the Selma march and different civil rights activism on the peak of the turbulent 1960s with this 12 months’s Black Lives Matter protests — interspersed with photographs of Franklin performing gospel music within the current “Wonderful Grace” movie.

“By no means Gonna Break My Religion” was co-written by Bryan Adams and initially appeared on the soundtrack of the 2006 movie “Bobby,” in regards to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. It gained the Grammy for finest gospel efficiency in 2008, her 18th and last win.

In releasing this new combine, which additionally options the Boys Choir of Harlem, Clive Davis cited its relevance to the occasions of in the present day, because it touches on themes of race (“You may deceive a baby with a smiling face / Inform me that coloration ain’t about a race”) in addition to hope and religion.

“The world could be very totally different now,” mentioned Davis, Sony Music’s chief artistic officer, who was Franklin’s label accomplice for a lot of the previous couple of many years of her life. “Change is in every single place and every of us, hopefully, is doing the very best she or he can to maneuver ahead and make change as optimistic as potential. Music can play a main position right here and Aretha’s efficiency is chilling. If you learn the music’s lyric, and its relevance to what’s taking place in the present day, it should shake each fiber in your physique. Everybody ought to hear this document. It deserves to be an anthem.”

Stated co-writer Adams, “After I wrote this music, I used to be channeling Aretha, by no means pondering that she’d ever really sing the music. The thought was to jot down a hymn, one thing that might try to articulate the sensation of religion, and that despite the fact that you may need misplaced one thing, there would at all times be an interior mild to information you. When the music was demo-ed, I advised the producers that Aretha could be the one to sing this, and sing it she did. This solo model has been sitting on my pc for years, and once I heard Clive was making a movie on Aretha’s life, I despatched this model to him. The world hasn’t heard her full efficiency and it actually wanted to be heard. I’m so glad it’s being launched; the world wants this proper now.”

Davis, clearly, opted to not maintain the recording for the forthcoming Franklin biopic, which stars Jennifer Hudson, however to go forward and launch it for Juneteenth.

Franklin died in 2018 at age 76.

 

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