Don't get me wrong... Aretha's got some killer songs and some great LPs. One Step Ahead is one of my fav soul singles ever. But at some point... she won the cultural cache award. She got the Blues Brothers cameo... she got the presidential medal of freedom... she got the permanent royal carpet.
Now, I listened and downloaded and read and researched... and based on that legwork, I have found Nina Simone to be infinitely more interesting, more moving, more talented, more genuine, more of an individual. She didn't get a song in a Nike ad... she wasn't forced into the ears of young children from the get go. and so now, Aretha gets the top spot, permanently... especially because her song is an "EMPOWERING" ode to... well... all the media companies say it's about women getting theirs, right? That's what Otis was writing about, right?
I'm just sad that we'll be stuck remembering the same handful of artists and handful of hit songs, because 90% of the world is too media-addled to bother to even *try* to know any better. As long as you know enough to participate in the "conversation," ("what, you didn't watch all of Beyonce's Lemonade music videos when you were a teenager??? ... you didn't follow every twist and turn of Kanye's mental illness played out in front of the press? ... you don't remember that Taylor Swift song about that famous guy she dated for 6 weeks??? ... "), you're fine. don't bother to put any actual effort into exploring the world of music, figuring out what you like and don't like, whose stories you're interested in and whose you aren't... just check off each of the top 100 songs curated by Disney, and it's enough!