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Sounds of the City: Aretha Franklin

Vernon L. Smith

The main thing this year’s Grammy Awards tribute taught us was that the Queen of Soul is truly irreplaceable. It took no fewer than five divas du jour to cover the range of genres Franklin can span in a single chorus, and their joint appearance quickly descended into a preposterous contest to see who could hold a random note the longest. Health troubles have sidelined Her Majesty for a while, but she’s back on the road and making WNY the first stop on her latest tour. (Perhaps that’s a shout-out to the fact she spent some of her very first years here, while her father was cementing his reputation as one of the nation’s leading preachers at Freedom Baptist Church?) There’s both a new album to promote and a critically acclaimed boxed set of her early recordings on Columbia to drool over, so odds are good we’ll hear a sampling of highlights from her six (ulp!) decades as a musical pioneer, in addition to brand-new material.

8 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, at the Seneca Events Center (310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls, N.Y.; 800-745-3000, www.senecaniagaracasino.com)

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